Skip to main content

Full text of "Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club"

See other formats

ZS 7/ 


of the 



Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 100 

price: seven pounds fifty pence 


Volume ioo will always be distinguished by the centennial issue in March, with its 132 
pages and special covers. The Club should find it most gratifying that 30 invited authors, 
including the Hon. Sec, so ungrudgingly gave up their time to devote their expertise to 
write their reminiscences or review ornithology across the world in zones of their own 
particular zoogeographical interest for the embellishment of the Bulletin. To them all the 
Club is sincerely grateful and its members much enlightened. 

I owe more thanks than usual to the other authors for their patience, since the centennial 
issue tended to prevent prompt correspondence and has inevitably delayed publication of 
papers by an extra 3 months; but it is hoped that publication delay can be reduced to its 
usual 6 months or so by the end of 1 9 8 1 . 

This is the last year that Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Benson will be able to provide their 
unfailingly accurate index, which they have been compiling for 10 years. The Club is most 
profusely grateful for their punctual and punctilious extraction of this important and 
essential complement to the text. Mrs. M. Hawksley is also to be thanked sincerely for her 
considerable help to Con and Molly Benson. 

As always I am glad to be able to thank referees, authors and the printers for their good 
nature and help in the production of their work at all stages. 



1979-1980 1980-1981 

P. Hogg, Chairman (1977) D. R. CALT>KK,Chairman (\()%o) 

Dr. G. Beven, Vice-Chairman (1977) B. Gray, Vice-Chairman (1980) 

Dr. J. F. Monk, Editor (x^d) Dr. J. F. Monk, Editor {k)-jG) 

R. E. F. Peal, Hon. Secretary (1 971) R. E. F. Peal,//o«. Secretary (197 1) 

Mrs. D. M. Bradley,//o«. Treasurer (1 9 78) Mrs. D. M. Bradley, Hon. Treasurer (1 978) 

B. Gray(i977) C.F.Mann (1977) 

C F. Mann (1977) R. D. Chancellor (1979) 

R. D. Chancellor (1979) J. G. Parker (1979) 

J. G. Parker (1979) R. A. N. Croucher (1980) 

(Compiled by Mrs. D. M. Bradley and R. E. F. Peal) 

New Members 

Abdulali, H., 75 Abdul Rehman Street, Bombay 3, India. 

Allison, R., f.c.a., The Laurels, Manchester Road, Sway, Lymington, Hants. SO4 OAS. 

Amadon, Dr. D., American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, 

New York, N.Y. 10024, U.S.A. 
Antram, F. B. S., Valley Farm, Wissett, near Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 OJJ. 
Bell, Lieut.-Col. H. L., c/o Department of Zoology, University of New England, 

Armidale, N.S.W. 235 1, Australia. 
Bison, P. W., Nassauplein 13, 181 5 GM Alkmaar, Netherlands. 
Blaksteen, B.,, 12 Hojstens Boulevard, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark. 
Bradshaw, C. D., m.r.a.c, 13/23 Shinohara, Kitamachi 4-Chome, Nada-ku, Kobe, Japan. 
Cheke, R. A., ph.d., Centre for Overseas Pest Research, College House, Wright's Lane, 

London, W. 8. 
Coles, S. J. W., m.b.e., 7 Chipstead Park Close, Chipstead, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 2SJ. 

(Member 1972-1976). 
Cowan, P. J. ,ph.d., Higher Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 68, Brack, Libya. 
Cull, S. B., Trevenna Cottage, Harlyn Road, St. Merryn, Padstow, Cornwall. 
Curtis, W. F., Farm Cottage, Church Lane, Atwick, Driffield, E. Yorks. 
Dickson, Miss W. E., Foxbury Cottage, Lesbury, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 3BA. 
Dunn, P. J., 25 Wreyfield Drive, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO12 6NP. 
Fraga, R. M., Guido 1698, i6b, 1016 Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
Gilchrist, P. W., ll.m., The Gatehouse, The Grange, 3-1 69A John Street, Toronto, 

Ontario, Canada, M 5 T 1 X 3 . 
Gore, M. E. J., 5 St. Mary's Close, Fetcham, Surrey, KT22 9HE. 
Hitchcock, J. C, sc.d., P.O. Box 1288, Nevada City, CA 95959, U.S.A. 
Homberger, Prof. Dominique G., dr.phil., Department of Zoology and Physiology, 

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, U.S.A. 
Hutson, A. M., Department of Entomology, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell 

Road, London S W7 5 BD. 
Johns, A. D.,, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University 

Pertanian Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. 
Main, S. J., 14 Carlyle Terrace, Bathgate, West Lothian EH48 iBX. 
Meldrum, Dr. J. A. K., m.a., m.b.,, d.a., Heath House, 81 Walkers Heath Road, 

Kings Norton, Birmingham B30 oAN. 
Meling, B. S., Johannesgt, 27, N-4000 Stavanger, Norway. 
Melville, D. S.,, c/o Association for the Conservation of Wildlife, 4 Old Custom 

House Lane, Bangkok 5, Thailand. 
Mignone, G. P., Via A. Cantore 1 ia-28, 16149 Genova-Sampierdarena, Italy. 
Miskell, J. E.,, FAO/UNDP, P.O. Box 24, Mogadishu, Somalia. 
Noval, A., Jovellanos 1-7 , Gijon, Spain. 

Owens, A. J., 18 Chestnut Road, Cimla, Neath, West Glamorgan SAi 1 3PB. 
Scott, Dr. W. C, m.b., b.s., f.r.c.r., 6 Cliff Drive, Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset. 
Senar Jorda, J. C, c/o San Elias 42, 3°2 a , Barcelona (6), Spain. 


Sick, Prof. Dr. H., Acadademia Brasileira de Ciencias, Caixa Postal 229, 20000 Rio de 

Janeiro RJ, Brazil. 
Smith, D. A., f.r.p.s., Pennyghael, Mairs Road, Darvel, Ayrshire. 
Snell, R. R., Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, 30 Somerset East, Ottawa, 

Ontario, Canada KiN 6N5. 
Sparks, Mrs G. M. B., The Old Vicarage, Compton Abdale, Cheltenham, Glos. GL54 4DS. 
Stack, Dr. C. G.,, m.b., b.s., Westhay, Mount Avenue, Hutton, Brentwood, Essex. 
Sutton, J. T., b.a., 86 Brookdale, Henley, Rochdale, Lancashire. 
Tucker, W. T., RFD i, Box 67, Kingston, NH 03848, U.S.A. 
White, Lieut.-Col. T. C, 6c Rosebery Avenue, Harpenden, Herts. AL5 2PL. 
Williams, M. D., m.s., Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 

LA 70893, U.S.A. 


The Committee much regrets to record the deaths of the following Members :- 
Miss I. Phyllis Barclay-Smith, c.b.e. 
Dr. L. H. Brown, o.b.e., ph.d. 
Mr. E. R. Parrinder, c.b.e. 


Coles, D. C; Jackson, H. D.; Parsons, J.; Quickelberge, E. C; Taylor, R. C; 

Watts, D. E. 

Removed from Membership 

Armistead, H. T. ; Armitage, J. S. ; Beesley, J. S. S. ; Bramley, A. D. ; Dirks, Mrs. June 
M. ; Lewis, R. E. 


Accounts, 1979 134 

Alexander, H. G. 

Some memories of the Club sixty years ago 14-15 

Inbrief 206 

Ali, Salim 

Indian Ornithology : The Current Trends 80-83 

Annual General Meeting 135 

Ash, J. S. and Miskell, J. E. 

A mass-migration of Rollers Coracias garrulus in Somalia 21 6-2 1 8 

Ash, J. S. and Watson, G. E. 

Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis new to Mexico 1 94-1 9 5 

Bannerman, David 

Reminiscences of the Club ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 22-25 

Barber, John C. 
See Steadman 

Barclay-Smith, Phyllis 

Recollections of personalities of the Club 15-22 

Benson, C. W. 

Some experiences of the Club ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 25-29 

Fifty years of ornithology in the Malagasy Faunal Region 76-80 

Ornithology in the Malagasy Faunal Region ... ... ... ... ... 172 

Bezzel, Einhard 

Ornithological advances in Western Europe during the last 5 o years ... ... 47-5 o 

Bibby, C. J. 

An address on ecological aspects of migration 132 

Bochenski, Z. 

Some trends in ornithology in East European countries during the last fifty 
years 50—5 5 

Books Received 131,206,238 

Boswell, J. H. R. 

Introduction of films on wildlife safaris to Mexico and Thailand 136 

Boswell, Jeffery and Kettle, Ron 

Additions to a discography of bird sound from the Neotropical Region ... 235-237 

Britton, P. L. 

Ornithological progress in Eastern Africa during the past 5 o years 68-73 

Brooke, R. K. 

Ornithology in southern Africa, 1930-1980 73-76 

Brown, L. H. 

An illustrated address on flamingos and pelicans on the Rift Valley lakes in 

Kenya 137 

Brunel, J., Chappuis, C. and Erard, C. 

Data on JLagonostictarhodopareiabruneli ... ... ... ... ... ... 164-170 

Chappuis, C. 
See Brunel 

Cheke, Robert A. 

A small breeding colony of the Rock Pratincole Glareola nuchalis liber iae in 

Togo I75- 1 ? 8 

Colston, P. R. 

The first and second records of the Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus 

tenuirostris for the Malay Peninsula and other Puffinus records 20 5 -206 

Committee, Report of for 1979 133— 1 3 5 

Cowles, Graham S. 

A new subspecies of Halycon chloris from an isolated population in eastern 

Arabia 226-230 

Cranbrook, Earl of 

The state of ornithology in eastern Asia 84-89 

Reflections of an ex-editor 137-141 


The Forest Wagtail Motacilla indica recorded in Nepal 201-202 

Davison, G. W. H. 

The type locality of Rheinartiaocellatanigrescens Rothschild 141-143 

de Worms, C. G. M. 

Some reminiscences of the British Ornithologists' Club 40-4 3 

Donahue, Paul 
See Gochfeld 

Du Pont, John E. and Niles, David M. 

Redescription of 'Halcyon bougainvillei excelsa May r, 1941 23 2-2 3 3 

Erard, C. 

See Brunel 

Escott, C. J. and Holmes, D. A. 

The avifuana of Sulawesi, Indonesia : faunistic notes and additions ... . . . 1 89-1 94 

Fisher, Clem 

Bird material needed 23 s 

Fjeldsa, Jon 

Post-mortem changes in measurements of grebes ... ... ... ... 151-154 

Fry, C. H. 

An address on Kingfishers ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 132 

Gibb, John A. 

Nev* Zealand ornithology during the past 50 years 93-96 

Gill, Frank B. 
See Ricklefs 

Gochfeld, Michael, Keith, Stuart and Donahue, Paul 

Records of rare or previously unrecorded birds from Colombia ... . . . 1 96-20 1 

Godfrey, W. Earl 
See Ouellet 

Godman, Edith 

Recollections 2 9~34 

Graves, Gary E. 

A new subspecies oiDiglossa{carbonarid)brunneiventris 230-232 

Graves, G. R. 

Relationship of white facial feathering to age and locality in Peruvian 
Cinnycerthia peruana 149-150 

Greenwood, Julian G. 

Dunlin Calidris alpina breeding in China 172 

Hancock, James and Perrins, Christopher 

An illustrated address on an expedition to the Chaco and Corrientes provinces 
of northern Argentina ; also a description by the latter of a short visit to 
the Patagonian region ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 207 

Harrison Zoological Museum, Visit to 173 

Heindel, J. A. 
See Parker 

Hogg, Peter 

Chairman's foreword 2-3 

Holmes, D. A. 
See Escott 

Imboden, Christoph 

An illustrated address on some endangered bird species in New Zealand and 

work by the New Zealand Wildlife Service to save them from extinction ... 207 

Isakov, Yu. A. 

Some of the results of ornithological investigations in the Soviet Union for 

the past fifty years 5 5—61 

Keith, Stuart 
See Gochfeld 

Kettle, Ron 

See Boswall 

Kitson, A. R. 

Larus relictus — areview 178-185 

Lockwood, G., Lockwood, M. P. and Macdonald, M. A. 

Chapin's Spinetail Swift Telacanthura melanopygia in Ghana 1 62-1 64 

Lockwood, M. P. 

See Lockwood, G. 


Macdonald, M. A. 

Further notes on uncommon forest birds in Ghana 
See also Lock wood, G. 

Meister, Charles A. 
See Steadman 

Melville, Margaret E. 
See Steadman 

Miskell, J. E. 
See Ash 

Morel, Gerard J. 

Fifty years of ornithology in West Africa 

Nicholson, E. M. 

Co-operative ornithology and conservation in Western Europe 

Niles, David M. 
See Du Pont 

Olson, Storrs L. 
See Steadman 

Ouellet, Henri and Godfrey, W. Earl 

Ornithology in Canada in the 20th Century : a capsule overview 

Parker, J. G. 

Some observations of birds in northwestern Tripolitania 1 948-9 

Parker, Theodore A., Ill, Remsen, J. V., Jr. and Heindel, J. A. 

Seven bird species new to Brazil 

Parkes, Kenneth C. 

A new subspecies of the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Acanthagenys rufogularis, 
with notes on generic relationships 

Peal, R. E. F. 

A short history of the Club and its Bulletin 

Peirce, M. A. 

Haematozoa of British birds : post-mortem and clinical findings 

Perrins, Christopher 
See Hancock 

Plenge, Manuel A. 


Pomeroy, D. E. 

Growth and plumage changes of the Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum 










Porter, Richard 

An illustrated address on raptor migration in Europe and the Middle East . . . 

Remsen, J. V., Jr. 
See Parker 


Ricklefs, Robert E. and Gill, Frank B. 

Fifty years of American ornithology ... ... ... ... ... ... 1 18-122 

Ripley, S. Dillon 

A new record of the Sooty S wiftlet Collocalia vanikorensis from New Ireland ... 238 

Schulenberg, Thomas S. and Plenge, Manuel A. 

The type locality and taxonomy of Anisognathus flavinucha somptuosus 1 47- 1 49 

Serventy, D. L. 

Developments in Australian ornithology ... ... ... ... ... 8 9-9 3 

Snow, D. W. 

Ornithological research in tropical America - the last 3 5 years ... ... 123-131 

An illustrated address on a recent visit to south-eastern Brazil ... ... 136 

A new species ofcotinga from southeastern Brazil 213-215 

Steadman, David W., Olson, Storrs L., Barber, John C, Meister, Charles 
A., and Melville, Margaret E. 

Weights of some West Indian birds 155-158 

Taylor, P. B. 

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos and Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes in 



Thorpe, W. H. 

Notes on the early history of the British Ornithologists' Club 34—35 

Vernon, J. D. R. 

5oyearsof Ornithology in North-west Africa 1 9 30-1 980 61-66 

Violani, Carlo 

"What \%Brachypteryx flaviventris Salvadori ?" ... ... ... ... ... 186-189 

On the Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon Treron sphenura etorques of Sumatra ... 223-226 

Wadley, N. J. P. 

Random recollections of theBOC 19 50-1 960 36-40 

Warham, John 

Recent trends in sub- Antarctic ornithology 96-102 

Watson, G. E. 
See Ash 

Williams, A. J. 

Diet and subspeciation in the Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua ... ... 173-175 

Rockhopper Penguins Eudyptes chrysocome at Gough Island ... ... ... 208-212 

Young, E. C. 

The present status of Antarctic ornithology 1 02-1 15 


(Compiled by C. W. Benson with the assistance of Mrs. C. W. Benson and 

Mrs. M. Hawksley) 

All generic and specific names {of birds only) are indexed. Sub specific names are included only if new 
and are also indexed in bold print under the generic and the specific names. 

Acanthagenys rufogularis 143-147 
Acanthagenys rufogularis parked, 

subsp. nov. 144 
Acanthis cannabina 159 
Accipiter 1 27 

— gentilis 158-159 

— nisusi59 

— striatus 155 
Acridotheres tristis 79 
Acrocephalus 5 3 

— arundinaceus 28 

— griseldis 28 

— orientalis 188 

— palustris 27 

— schoenobaenus 132 

— scirpaceus 132 
acuminata, Calidris 233 
acutirostris, Heteralocha 93 
adeliae, Pygoscelis 103, 106, 173 
aeneus, Molothrus 200 
aeruginosus, Circus 78, 159 
aethiopica, Threskiornis 79 
affinis, Apus 162, 175, 189, 192, 204 
africanus, Cassinaetus 170 
Agapornis swinderniana 171 
Agelaius phoeniceus 157 
Aimophila 236 

Aix galericulata 159 
alba, Crocethia 190 

— Egretta 193 

— Motacilla 158-159, 201 
•— Tytoi59 

albicilla, Haliaeetus 159 
albicollis, Turdus 1 26 
albifacies, Sceloglaux 93 
albilinea, Tachycineta 199 
albinucha, Ploceus 170 
albiventer, Phalacrocorax 97, 106 
aldabranus, Nesillas 79 
alexandrinus, Charadrius 24, 192, 201 
alpina, Calidris 159, 172, 192 
altiloquus, Vireo 156 
aluco, Strix 158-159 
Ampelioides tschudii 160 
amurensis, Falco 216 
Amytornis goyderi 92 

— housei 92 
anaethetus, Sterna 198 
Anas aucklandica 93, 100 

— clypeata 59 

Anascrecca 159 

— eatoni 98 

— erythrorhynchos 234 

— platyrhynchos 159 

— smithii63 
Andropadus virens 171 
angustirostris, Todus 156-157 
ani, Crotophaga 155-156 
Anisognathus flavinucha 147-148 

— igniventris 162 
anoxanthus, Loxipasser 157 
Anser anser 59, 203 

— caerulescens 59 
anser, Anser 59, 203 
antarctica, Catharacta 105, 2 11 

— Pygoscelis 173 
Anthochaera carunculata 146 

— chrysoptera 145-146 

— paradoxa 146 
Anthracothorax mango 156 
Anthreptes pallidigaster 26 
An thus novaeseelandiae 194 
antipodes, Megadyptes 94 
Apalis chariessa 26 

— sharpei 171 
apperti, Phyllastrephus 77 
Aptenodytes forsteri 103, no 

— patagonica 97 
Apteryx 17 

— oweni 93 

Apus affinis 162, 175, 189, 192, 204 

— apus 53, 159 

— caffer 63 

— melba 204 

— pacificus 191 
apus, Apus 53, 159 
aquaticus, Rallus 159 
Aquila chrysaetos 203 

— rapax 64 
araea, Falco 79 
arborea, Lullula 5 3 
archboldi, Newtonia 76-77 
Ardea cinerea 59,159 

— novaehollandiae 94 
Ardeola ralloides 29 
argentatus, Larus 183, 197 
armenti, Molothrus 200 
arundinaceus, Acrocephalus 28 
asiatica, Zenaida 155 

Asio flammeus 159 

Asio helvola 62 

— otus 158-159 
ater, Parus 159 
Athene noctua 159 
atra, Fulica 94 

— Tijuca 213-215 

atriceps, Phalacrocorax 103-104, 106 
Atrichornis clamosus 91-92 
atricilla, Larus 196 
aucklandica, Anas 93, 100 
audeberti, Pachycoccyx 172 
audouinii, Larus 63 
aurantius, Turdus 156 
aurigaster, Pycnonotus 192 
auritus, Podiceps 1 5 1-1 5 3 
Aythya fuligula 59, 159 

Baeopogon indicator 171 
balaenarum, Sterna 80 
balasiensis, Cypsiurus 189, 192 
Balearica pavonina 2 1 9 

— regulorum 219-222 
barbirostris, Myiarchus 156 
bassana, Sula 94 
Bebrornis sechellensis 79 
bensoni, Monticola 77 
bicolor, Dendrocygna 63, 199 

— Gymnopithys 126 

— Tachycineta 198 

— Tiaris 157 
blumenbachii, Crax 136 
bonariensis, Molothrus 200 
bougainvillei, Halcyon 232-233 
brachypterus, Tachyeres 98 
Brachypteryx flaviventris 186-188 

— Iepturai87 
brachyura, Chaetura 200 
branickii, Odontorchilus 161 
Branta canadensis 158-159 
brasilianum, Glaucidium 236 
brevirostris, Pterodroma 98 
brunneiventris, Diglossa 230-232 
brunnicephalus, Larus 179, 182 
Bubulcus ibis 79 

Bucephala clangula 5 9 
bulleri, Diomedea 99 
Butastur liventer 193 
Buteo buteo 30, 159 

— leucorrhous 1 60-1 61 

— platypterus 160 
buteo, Buteo 30, 159 
Buthraupis montana 162 
Butorides striatus 80 

Cacatua galerita 94 
Cacomantis merulinus 193 
caerulescens, Anser 59 

— Dendroica 156 
caeruleus, Elanus 64 

— Parus 159 

caesia, Emberiza 204 
cafer, Pycnonotus 94 
caffer, Apus 63 
Calidris acuminata 233 

— alpina 159, 172, 192 

— canutus 190 

— ferruginea 190,233 

— melanotos 233 

— minuta233 

— tenuirostris 190 
Callaeas cinerea 93, 207 
Callichelidon cyaneoviridis 156 
Calliphlox evelynae 156 
Calyptorhynchus latirostris 92 
campestris, Euneornis 156 
canadensis, Branta 158-159 

— Grus 222 
cannabina, Acanthis 159 
canorus, Cuculus 204 
canus, Larus 59 
canutus, Calidris 190 
capense, Daption 99, 1 1 1 
capensis, Turnagra 93 
Caprimulgus tristigma 165 
carbonaria, Diglossa 230 
Carduelis chloris 159 
caribaeus, Contopus 156 
caripensis, Steatornis 126 
carneipes, Puffinus 98, 205 
Carpornis cucullatus 214-215 
carunculata, Anthochaera 146 
carunculatus, Philesturnus 93 
Cassinaetus africanus 170 
cassini, Neafrapus 162 
castaneiventris, Delothraupis 162 
Catharacta antarctica 105, 211 

— chilensis 105, 109 

— lonnbergi 105-106, 108 

— maccormicki 103, 105-106, 109-1 10 

— skua 97, 105 
caudacutus, Hirundapus 191 
caudifasciatus, Tyrannus 156 
cayana, Piaya 161 
Centropus toulou 79 
Cephalopterus ornatus 125 
Cercococcyx mechowi 27 

— montanus 27 
Cercomela familiaris 165 

— sinuata 1 2 
Certhia familiaris 159 

— montana 188 
Chaetura brachyura 200 

— sabini 162 
chalybeata, Vidua 167-168 
Charadrius alexandrinus 24, 192, 201 

— dubius 24, 201 

— hiaticula233 

— melanops 94 
chariessa, Apalis 26 

cherrug, Falco 5 2 

chilensis, Catharacta 105, 109 

Ononis major 98 

— minor 108, 211 
Chlidonias hybrida 5 3 

— leucopterus 53, 203 
chloris, Carduelis 159 

— Halcyon 226-230 
Chlorocichla laetissima 70 
chloropus, Gallinula 193 
chlororhynchos, Diomedea 97 
Chlorostilbon ricordii 156 
chrysaetos, Aquila 203 
Chryserpes striatus 156 
chrysocome, Eudyptes 98-99, 208-211 
chrysolophus, Eudyptes 97, 104 
chrysoptera, Anthochaera 145-146 
Ciccaba virgata 236 

— episcopus 193 
ciconia, Ciconia 61 
cincta, Notiomystis 93, 207 
cinerea, Ardea 59, 159 

— Callaeas 93, 207 
cinereus, Ibis 189 
Cinnycerthia peruana 149 
Circus aeruginosus 78, 159 

— cyaneus 203 
Cisticola 42, 188 

— emini 166 

— juncidis 29, 194 
citrea, Protonotaria 156 
citrinelloides, Serinus 70 
damans, Spiloptila 62 
Clamator glandarius 204 
clamosus, Atrichornis 91-92 
clangula, Bucephala 5 9 
clypeata, Anas 59 
Clytospiza dybowskii 70 
Coccyzus lansbergi 200 

— minor 156 
cochinchinensis, Hirundapus 191 
coelebs, Fringilla 159 
Coereba flaveola 155-157 
colchicus, Phasianus 159 
Collocalia vanikorensis 193, 238 
collybita, Phylloscopus 1 5 
Columba livia 159 

— palumbus 158-159 
columbarius, Falco 158-159 
Columbina passerina 155-157 
communis, Sylvia 59, 159 
concreta, Halcyon 232 
condita, Tijuca 213-215 
Conirostrum sitticolor 162 
conspicillatus, Pelecanus 189 
Contopus caribaeus 156 
Copsychus sechellarum 79 
Coracias garrulus 216 
coronatus, Stephanoaetus 171 

corone, Corvus 159 
corvina, Terpsiphone 79 
Corvus corone 159 

— frugilegus 159 
cotta, Myiopagis 156 
Coturnix coturnix 203 
coturnix, Coturnix 203 
Cranioleuca curtata 161 
crassirostris, Hypsipetes 79 

— Vireo 156 
Crax blumenbachii 136 
crecca, Anas 159 
cristata, Fulica 62 
cristatus, Parus 3 3 

— Podiceps 44 
Crocethia alba 190 
Crossleyia 172 
Crotophaga ani 1 5 5-1 5 6 
cryptolophus, Lipaugus 215 
cucullatus, Carpornis 214-215 
Cuculus canorus 204 
curtata, Cranioleuca 161 
curvirostra, Loxia 44 
cuvieri, Dryolimnas 79 
cyaneoviridis, Callichelidon 156 
cyaneus, Circus 203 
Cyanocorax yncas 147 
cyanoleuca, Notiochelidon 161 
Cyanoramphus malherbi 93 

— novaeseelandiae 100 

— unicolor 100 
Cygnus cygnus 159 

— olor 1 5 9 
cygnus, Cygnus 159 
Cypsiurus balasiensis 189, 192 

— parvus 162, 175 

Dacelo gigas 94 
dactylatra, Sula 80 
Daption capense 99, 1 1 1 
dasypus, Delichon 192 
decaocto, Streptopelia 33, 159 
Delichon dasypus 192 

— urbica 58, 159 
Delothraupis castaneiventris 162 
Dendrocopos major 159 

— villosusi56 
Dendrocygna bicolor 63, 
Dendroica caerulescens 

— dominica 156 

— fusca 162 

— pharetrai56 

— pinusi56 

— pity ophila 156 

— virens 199 
desolata, Pachyptila 97 
Dichromanassa rufescens 196 
Diglossa brunneiventris 230-232 
Diglossa brunneiventris vuilleumieri, 

subsp. nov. 230 


Diglossa carbonaria 230 

— humeralis 231 
Dinor nis maximus 1 7 
Diomedea bulleri 99 

— chlororhynchos 97 

— epomophora 94 

— exulans 98 

— melanophrys 98 
domesticus, Passer 159 
dominica, Dendroica 156 
dominicensis, Spindalis 155 

— Tyrannusi56 
dominicus, Dulus 156 
dougallii, Sterna 197 
Dromaius novaehollandiae 92 
Dryolimnas cuvieri 79 
dubius, Charadrius 24, 201 
Dulus dominicus 156 
dunni, Eremalauda 61 
dybowskii, Clytospiza 70 

eatoni, Anas 98 
eburnea, Pagophila 116 
Egrettaalba 193 

— sacra 193 
Elanoides forficatus 200 
Elanus caeruleus 64 
eleonorae, Falco 63 
Emberiza caesia 204 

— hortulana 204 
eminentissima, Foudia 79 
emini, Cisticola 166 
Eminia lepida 70 
Entomyzon 145 
episcopus, Ciconia 193 
epomophora, Diomedea 94 
Eremalauda dunni 61 
eremita, Geronticus 63 
Erithacus rubecula 159 
erythrocephala, Pipra 126 
erythrorhynchos, Anas 234 
Esacus magnirostris 193 
etorques, Sphenocercus 223, 225 
Eudyptes 2 10-2 11 

— chrysocome 98-99, 208-21 

— chrysolophus 97, 104 

— robustus 99 

— sclateri 99 
Euneornis campestris 156 
eupatria, Psittacula 79 
Euplectes 74 
eurizonoides, Rallina 190 
Eurypyga helias 236 
Eurystomus glaucurus 175 
evelynae, Calliphlox 156 
eximius, Platycercus 94 
exulans, Diomedea 98 

Falco amurensis 216 

— araea 79 

Falco cherrug 5 2 

— columbarius 158-159 

— eleonorae 63 

— naumanni2i6 

— peregrinus 159 

— punctatus 78 

— sparverius 155 

— subbuteo 14, 203, 216 

— tinnunculus 14, 159, 216 
familiaris, Cercomela 165 

— Certhiai59 
fanovanae, Newtonia 77 
fasciata, Rallina 190 
fasciatus, Tockus 171 
ferruginea, Calidris 190, 233 

— Tadornai59 
Ficedula hypoleuca 5 8 
fischeri, Turdus 70 
flammeus, Asio 159 
flaveola, Coereba 155-157 
flavicans, Foudia 78 
flavifrons, Remiz 171 
flavinucha, Anisognathus 147-148 
flavipes, Notiochelidon 161 

— Tringa 233-234 
flaviventris, Brachypteryx 186-188 
forficatus, Elanoides 200 
forsteri, Aptenodytes 103, no 
Foudia 79 

— eminentissima 79 

— flavicans 78 
Francolinus 28 
Fregata 79 
Fringilla coelebs 159 

— montifringilla 1 
frugilegus, Corvus 159 
Fulica atra 94 

— cristata 62 
fuligula, Aythya 59, 159 
fulva, Hirundo 156-157 
fulvus, Turdoides 64 
fumigatus, Turdus 1 26 
fusca, Dendroica 162 

— Phoebetria 98 

— Porzana 190 
fuscata, Sterna 80 

galericulata, Aix 159 
galerita, Cacatua 94 
Gallinago stenura 192 
Gallinula chloropus 193 

— nesiotis 98 
garrulus, Coracias 216 
Gelochelidon nilotica 183, 191, 197 
genei, Larus63 

genibarbis, Myadestes 156 
gentilis, Accipiter 1 5 8-159 
Geopelia striata 193 
georgicus, Pelecanoides 100 
Geothlypis rostrata 156 


Geothlypis tr ichas 156 

Geotrygon montana 156 

Geronticus eremita 63 

giganteus, Macronectes 99-100, 104 

gigas, Dacelo 94 

glandar ius, Clamator 204 

Glar eola maldivarum 192 

— nuchalis 175-177 
glareola, Tringa 233 
Glaucidium brasilianum 236 

— minutissimum 236 

— passerinum 5 2 
Glaucis hirsuta 1 26 
glaucurus, Eurystomus 175 
goiavier, Pycnonotus 192 
goyderi, Amytornis 92 
granadense, Idioptilon 161 
grandis, Nyctibius 236 
gravis, Puffirms 98, 194 
grisegena, Podiceps 1 5 1-1 5 3 
griseldis, Acrocephalus 28 
griseus, Puffirms 98 

Grus canadensis 222 
gundlachii, Mimus 156 
Gymnopithys bicolor 126 

habroptilus, Strigops 93, 207 
Haematopus ostralegus 59, 159 
Halcyon bougainvillei 232-233 

— chloris 226-230 

Halcyon chloris kalbaensis, subsp. nov. 

Halycon concreta 232 

— sancta 193 
Haliaeetus albicilla 159 
haliaetus, Pandion 30 

halli, Macronectes 98-100, 104 

— Pomatostomus 92 
helias, Eurypyga 236 
helvola, Asio 62 

Hemispingus xanthophthalmus 1 61-162 
Heteralocha acutirostris 93 
hiaticula, Charadrius 233 
Himantopus novaezealandiae 93 
hirsuta, Glaucis 1 26 
Hirundapus caudacutus 191 

— cochinchinensis 191 
Hirundo fulva 156-157 

— rustica 5 2, 1 56, 216 

— smithii 175 

— tahitica 94 
hirundo, Sterna 59, 183 
Histrionicus histrionicus 159 
histrionicus, Histrionicus 159 
hortulana, Emberiza 204 
housei, Amytornis 92 
humeralis, Diglossa 231 
huttoni, Puffinus 94 
hybrida, Chlidonias 5 3 

Hydroprogne tschegrava 183 
Hylophylax naevioides 1 26 
Hypochera 168 
hypoleuca, Ficedula 5 8 
hypoxantha, Neodrepanis 77 
Hypsipetes crassirostris 79 

Ibiscinereus 189 
ibis, Bubulcus 79 
ichthyaetus, Larus 179, 1 81-18 5 
Ichthyophaga nana 193 
Icterus leucopteryx 157 

— spurius 161 
Idioptilon granadense 161 
igniventris, Anisognathus 162 
iliacus, Turdus 203-204 
indica, Motacilla 201 
indicator, Baeopogon 171 
inexpectata, Pterodroma 99 
inquieta, Scotocerca 203 
insignis, Prodotiscus 171 
ireneae, Otus 70 

jamaicensis, Turdus 156 
juncidis, Cisticola 29, 194 

kalbaensis, Halcyon 227 
korthalsi, Sphenocercus 223 

laetissima, Chlorocichla 70 
Lagonosticta rara 165 

— rhodopareia 1 64- 1 70 

— senegalai68 

— virata 165, 169 
Lagopus lagopus 52,159 

— mutus 52 
lagopus, Lagopus 52, 159 
Lalage leucopygialis 193 

— sueurii 193 
Lanius minor 216 
lansbergi, Coccyzus 200 
Larus audouinii 63 

— argentatus 183, 197 

— atricillai96 

— brunnicephalus 179,182 

— canus 59 

— genei 63 

— ichthyaetus 179, 1 81-18 5 

— melanocephalus 179, 181-183 

— minutus 181 

— relictus 178-185 

— ridibundus 1 80-1 8 5 
— ■ saundersi 1 8 1 -1 8 2 

lateralis, Zosterops 94 
latirostris, Calyptorhynchus 92 
lawrencii, Otus 237 
ledanti, Sitta 63 
lepida, Eminia 70 
Lepidopyga lillae 200 

leptura, Brachypteryx 187 
lepturus, Phaethon 80 
lessoni, Pterodroma 97 
leucogaster, Sula 80 
leucopterus, Chlidonias 53, 203 
leucopteryx, Icterus 157 
leucopyga, Tachycineta 199 
leucopygialis, Lalage 193 
leucorodia, Platalea 94 
leucorrhoa, Tachycineta 199 
leucorrhous, Buteo 1 60-1 61 
Lichenostomus 145 
lillae, Lepidopyga 200 
Limnothlypis swainsonii 156 
Limosa limosa 190 
limosa, Limosa 190 
lineatum, Tigrisoma 207 
Lipaugus cryptolophus 215 

— subalaris2i5 

— vociferans 2 1 4-2 1 5 
li venter, Butastur 193 
livia, Columba 159 
lobatus, Phalaropus 3 3 
Lobibyx novaehollandiae 94 
Lonchura punctulata 194 
longicaudus, Stercorarius 105, 196 
longipes, Xenicus 93 
lonnbergi, Catharacta 105-106, 108 
loweryi, Xenoglaux 1 24 

Loxia curvirostra 44 
Loxigilla portoricensis 157 

— violacea 157 
Loxipasser anoxanthus 157 
Lullula arborea 5 3 

Luscinia megarhynchos 92, 159 

— svecica 204 
luteifrons, Nigrita 171 
luteola, Pica 147 

maccormicki, Catharacta 103, 105-106, 

Macronectes 108 

— giganteus 99-100, 104 

— halli 98-100, 104 
magentae, Pterodroma 94, 99 
magnirostris, Esacus 193 
major, Chionis 98 

— Dendrocopos 159 

— Parus 67, 159 
maldivarum, Glareola 192 
malherbi, Cyanoramphus 93 
Manacus manacus 126 
manacus, Manacus 126 
mango, Anthracothorax 156 
Manorina 145 

mantelli, Notornis 93, 207 
mariae, Nesillas 78 
mayottensis, Zosterops 79 
maxima, Sterna 62 
maximus, Dinornis 17 

mcleannani, Phaenostictus 126 
mechowi, Cercococcyx 27 
Mecocerculus stictopterus 162 
mediocris, Nectarinia 28 
Megadyptes antipodes 94 
megalorhynchus, Tanygnathus 193 
megarhynchos, Luscinia 92, 1 59 
Melanerpes radiolatus 156 
Melanitta nigra 159 
melanocephala, Sylvia 62 
melanocephalus, Larus 179, 1 81-18 3 

— Myioborus 162 
melanoleucos, Phalacrocorax 193 
melanophrys, Diomedea 98 
melanops, Charadrius 94 
melanopygia, Telacanthura 162-163 
melanotos, Calidris 233 

melba, Apus 204 
Meliarchus 145-146 

— sclateri 145-146 
Melidectes 144-145 

— torquatus 144-145 
Melierax metabates 63 
Melignomon 171 
Meliphaga 145 
Melithreptes 145 

Merops ornatus 193 
merula, Turdus 158-159 
merulinus, Cacomantis 193 
metabates, Melierax 63 
mexicanus, Todus 157 
Micrastur 1 27 

microptera, Rollandia 1 5 1-1 5 3 
migrans, Milvus 159 
Milvus migrans 159 

— milvus 45 
milvus, Milvus 45 
Mimocichla plumbea 156 
Mimus gundlachii 156 

— polyglottos 156 
minor, Chionis 108, 211 

— Coccyzusi56 

— Lanius 216 

— Phoenicoparrus 137 
minuta, Calidris 233 
minutissimum, Glaucidium 236 
minutus, Larus 181 

Mirafra williamsi 70 
Mniotilta varia 156 
modesta, Progne 199 

— Zosterops 79 
modestus, Vireo 156 
modularis, Prunella 159 
mollis, Pterodroma 100 
mollissima, Somateria 159 
Molothrus aeneus 200 

— armenti 200 

— bonariensis 200 
montana, Buthraupis 162 

montana, Cettia 188 

— Geotrygon 156 
montanus, Cercococcyx 27 

— Parus 1 5 

— Passer 159, 194 
Monticola bensoni 77 
montifringilla, Fringilla 159 
morio, Onychognathus 165 
Motacilla alba 1 5 8-1 5 9, 201 

— indica 201 
mutus, Lagopus 5 2 
Myadestes genibarbis 156 
Myiarchus barbirostris 156 

— sagraei56 

— stolidusi56 

— tuberculifer 161 

— validusij6 
Myioborus melanocephalus 162 
Myiopagis cotta 156 
Myrmotherula 1 27 

naevioides, Hylophylax 1 26 
nana, Ichthyophaga 193 
naumanni, Falco 216 
Neafrapus cassini 162 
nebular ia, Tringa 201, 234 
Nectarinia mediocris 28 

— preussi 28 
Neodrepanis hypoxantha 77 
Nesillas aldabranus 79 

— mariae 78 
nesiotis, Gallinula 98 
Newtonia archboldi 76-77 

— fanovanae 77 
nigra, Melanitta 159 
nigricephala, Spindalis 155, 157 
nigricollis, Podiceps 203 
Nigrita luteifrons 171 

nilotica, Gelochelidon 183, 191, 197 
nisus, Accipiter 159 
nivea, Pagodroma 103, 106, in 
noctua, Athene 159 
Notiochelidon cyanoleuca 161 

— flavipes 161 
Notiomystis cincta 93, 207 
Notornis 94 

— mantelli93, 207 
novaehollandiae, Ardea 94 

— Dromaius 92 

— Lobibyx 94 
novaeseelandiae, Anthus 194 

— Cyanoramphus 100 
novaezealandiae, Himantopus 93 
nuchalis, Glareola 175-177 
Nyctea scandiaca 1 5 8-159 
Nyctibius grandis 236 

obscurus, Turdus 192 
occidentalis, Pezoporus 92 
occipitalis, Podiceps 1 5 1-1 5 3 

oceanicus, Oceanites 104, in 
Oceanites oceanicus 104, 1 1 1 
ocellata, Rheinartia 1 41-142 
ochropus, Tringa 234 
Odontorchilus branickii 161 
olivacea, Tiaris 157 
olor, Cygnus 159 
onocrotalus, Pelecanus 137 
Onychognathus morio 165 
orientalis, Acrocephalus 188 
ornatus, Cephalopterus 125 

— Merops 193 
osburni, Vireo 1 5 6 
ostralegus, Haematopus 59, 159 
Otus ireneae 70 

— Iawrencii237 

— pauliani 78 
otus, Asio 158-159 
oweni, Apteryx 93 

Pachy coccyx audeberti 172 
Pachyptila 98 

— desolata 97 
pacificus, Apus 191 

— Puffinus 205 
Pagodroma nivea 103, 106, 1 11 
Pagophila eburnea 116 
pallidigaster, Anthreptes 26 
palmarum, Phaenicophilus 157 
palpebrata, Phoebetria 98-99 
palumbus, Columba 1 5 8-1 5 9 
palustris, Acrocephalus 27 
Pandion haliaetus 30 

papua, Pygoscelis 100, 173-174 
paradisaea, Sterna 1 1 1 
paradoxa, Anthochaera 146 
paradoxus, Syrrhaptes 44 
parasiticus, Stercorarius 105, 196 
parkeri, Acanthagenys 144 
Parus ater 159 

— caeruleus 159 

— cristatus 33 

— major 67, 159 

— montanus 1 5 
parvus, Cypsiurus 162, 175 
Passer 63 

— domesticus 159 

— montanus 159, 194 
passerina, Columbina 155-157 
passerinum, Glaucidium 5 2 
patagonica, Aptenodytes 97 
pauliani, Otus 78 
pavonina, Balearica 219 
paykulli, Porzana 190 
Pelecanoides georgicus 100 
Pelecanus conspicillatus 189 

— onocrotalus 137 
perdix, Perdix 95 
peregrinus, Falco 159 

peruana, Cinnycerthia 149 
Petroica traversi 93-94, 207 
Pezoporus occiden talis 92 
Phaenicophilus palmarum 157 
Phaenostictus mcleannani 1 26 
Phaethon 78 

— lepturus 80 
Phalacrocorax albiventer 97, 106 

— atriceps 103-104, 106 

— melanoleucos 193 

— sulcirostris 193 

— verrucosus 97 
Phalaropus lobatus 3 3 
pharetra, Dendroica 156 
Phasianus colchicus 159 
Philemon 145 

Philesturnus carunculatus 93-94 
philippae, Sylvietta 70 
Philomachus pugnax 191,233 
philomelos, Turdus 158-159 
Philydor 127 

— rufus 161 
Phoebetria fusca 98 

— palpebrata 98-99 
phoeniceus, Agelaius 157 
phoenicobia, Tachornis 156 
Phoenicoparrus minor 137 
Phoenicopterus ruber 62, 137 
Phyllastrephus apperti 77 
Phylloscopus collybita 1 5 

— sibilatrix 58, 159 
Piayacayana 161 
Picaluteola 147 

— pica 62, 159 
pica, Pica 62, 159 
picturata, Streptopelia 79 
Picus viridis 159 
pinus, Dendroica 156 
Pipra erythrocephala 1 26 
pityophila, Dendroica 156 
Platalea leucorodia 94 
Platycercus eximius 94 
platypterus, Buteo 160 
platyrhynchos, Anas 159 
Ploceus albinucha 170 
plumbea, Mimocichla 156 
Pluvialis squatarola 190 
Podiceps auritus 1 5 1-1 5 3 

— cristatus 44 

— grisegena 1 5 1 - 1 5 3 

— nigricollis 203 

— occipitalis 1 5 1 - 1 5 3 

— taczanowskii 1 5 1-1 5 3 
polyglottos, Mimus 156 
polytmus, Trochilus 156 
pomarinus, Stercorarius 105, 196-197 
Pomatostomus halli 92 
portoricensis, Loxigilla 157 

— Spindalis 157 
Porzana fusca 190 

Porzana paykulli 190 
preussi, Nectarinia 28 
Prinia 187 

— robertsi 28 
Prodotiscus insignis 171 
Progne modesta 199 

— subis 199 
Protonotaria citrea 156 
Prunella modularis 159 
Pseudochelidon 86 
pseudozosterops, Randia 76 
Psittacula eupatria 79 
Pterodroma brevirostris 98 

— inexpectata 99 

— lessoni 97 

— magentae 94, 99 

— mollis 100 
Puffinus 80, 206 

— carneipes 98, 205 

— gravis 98, 194 

— griseus 98 

— huttoni 94 

— pacificus 205 

— tenuirostris 205 
pugnax, Philomachus 191, 233 
punctatus, Falco 78 
punctulata, Lonchura 194 
pusilla, Sitta 156 
Pycnonotus aurigaster 192 

— cafer 94 

— goiavier 192 
Pycnopygius 145 
Pygoscelis adeliae 103, 106, 173 

— antarctica 173 

— papua 100, 173-174 
Pyrrhula pyrrhula 159 
pyrrhula, Pyrrhula 159 

Quelea 68 

— quelea 67 
quelea, Quelea 67 

radiolatus, Melanerpes 156 
Rallina eurizonoides 190 

— fasciatai9o 
ralloides, Ardeola 29 
Rallus aquaticus 159 
Randia pseudozosterops 76 
rapax, Aquila 64 

rara, Lagonosticta 165 
regulorum, Balearica 219-222 
relictus, Larus 178-185 
Remiz flavifrons 171 
Rheinartia ocellata 1 41-142 
Rhipidurateijsmanni 194 
rhodopareia, Lagonosticta 164-170 
Rhodopechys sanguinea 62 
ricordii, Chlorostilbon 156 
ridibundus, Larus 180-185 


Riparia riparia 58, 159 
riparia, Riparia 58, 159 
Rissa tridactyla 159 
robertsi, Prinia 28 
robinsoni, Sphenocercus 226 
robustus, Eudyptes 99 
rolland, Rollandia 1 5 1-1 5 3 
Rollandia microptera 1 5 1-1 5 3 

— rolland 1 5 1-1 5 3 
rostrata, Geothylpis 156 
rubecula, Erithacus 159 
ruber, Phoenicopterus 62, 137 
rubetra, Saxicola 204 
rufescens, Dichromanassa 196 
rufogularis, Acanthagenys 143-147 
rufus, Philydor 161 

rustica, Hirundo 52, 156, 216 
rusticola, Scolopax 44 
rutilans, Xenops 161 

sabini, Chaetura 162 
sacra, Egretta 193 
sagrae, Myiarchus 156 
sancta, Halcyon 193 
sandvicensis, Sterna 197-198 
sanguinea, Rhodopechys 62 
saundersi, Larus 1 81-182 
Saurothera vetula 156 
Saxicola rubetra 204 
scandiaca, Nyctea 1 5 8-1 5 9 
Scaphidura 128 
Sceloglaux albifacies 93 
schoenobaenus, Acrocephalus 132 
scirpaceus, Acrocephalus 132 
sclateri, Eudyptes 99 

— Meliarchus 145-146 
Scolopax rusticola 44 
Scotocerca inquieta 203 
sechellarum, Copsychus 79 
sechellensis, Bebrornis 79 
senegala, Lagonosticta 168 
Serinus eitrinelloides 70 
sharpei, Apalis 171 
sibilatrix, Phylloscopus 58, 159 

— Syrigma 207 
sinuata, Cercomela 12 
Sitta ledanti 63 

— pusillai56 
sitticolor, Conirostrum 162 
skua, Catharacta 97, 105 

— Stereo rarius 45 
smithii, Anas 63 

— Hirundo 175 
Somateria mollissima 159 
somptuosus, Tachyphonus 147 
sparverius, Falco 155 
Sphenocercus etorques 223, 225 

— korthalsi223 

— robinsoni 226 
sphenura, Treron 223-225 

Sphenurus 223 
Spiloptila clamans 62 
Spindalis dominicensis 155 

— nigricephala 155, 157 

— portoricensis 157 

— zena 155, 157 
spurius, Icterus 161 
squatarola, Pluvialis 190 
stagnatilis, Tringa 190, 233 
Steatornis 237 

— ■ caripensis 126 
stenura, Gallinago 192 
Stephanoaetus coronatus 171 
Stercorarius longicaudus 105, 196 

— parasiticus 105, 196 

— pomarinus 105, 196-197 

— skua 45 
Sterna anaethetus 198 

— balaenarum 80 

— dougallii 197 

— fuscata 80 

— hirundo 59, 183 

— maxima 62 

— paradisaea 1 1 1 

— sandvicensis 197-198 

— vittata 99 
stictopterus, Mecocerculus 162 
stolidus, Myiarchus 156 
Streptopelia decaocto 33, 159 

— picturata 79 

— tranquebarica 191 
striata, Geopelia 193 
striatus, Accipiter 155 

— Buto rides 80 

— Chryserpes 156 
Strigops habroptilus 93, 207 
Strix aluco 158-159 
Sturnus vulgaris 1 5 8-1 5 9 
subalaris, Lipaugus 215 
subbuteo, Falco 14, 203, 216 
subis, Progne 199 
subulatus, Todus 1 5 6-1 5 7 
sueurii, Lalage 193 

Sula bassana 94 

— dactylatra 80 

— leucogaster 80 

— sula 79 
sula, Sula 79 

sulcirostris, Phalacrocorax 193 
svecica, Luscinia 204 
swainsonii, Limnothylpis 156 
swinderniana, Agapornis 171 
sylvatica, Turnix 203 
Sylvia communis 59,159 

— melanocephala 62 
Sylvietta philippae 70 
Syrigma sibilatrix 207 
Syrrhaptes paradoxus 44 

Tachornis phoenicobia 156 

Tachycineta albilinea 199 

— bicolor 198 

— leucopyga 199 

— leucorrhoa 199 
Tachyeres brachypterus 98 
Tachyphonus somptuosus 147 
taczanowskii, Podiceps 1 5 1-1 5 3 
Tador na ferruginea 159 
tahitica, Hirundo 94 
Tanygnathus megalorhynchus 193 
teijsmanni, Rhipidura 194 
Telecanthus melanopygia 162-163 

— ussheri 164 
tenuirostris, Calidris 190 

— Puffinus 205 
Terpsiphone corvina 79 
Thamnomanes 127 
Threskiornis aethiopica 79 
Tiaris bicolor 1 5 7 

— olivacea 1 5 7 
Tigrisoma lineatum 207 
Tijucaatra 213-215 
Tijucacondita, sp. nov. 213-215 
tinnunculus, Falco 14, 159, 216 
Tockus fasciatus 171 

Todus angustirostris 156-157 

— mexicanus 1 5 7 

— subulatus 156-157 

— todus 156-157 
todus, Todus 1 5 6-1 5 7 
torquatus, Melidectes 144-145 
toulou, Centropus 79 
tranquebarica, Streptopelia 191 
traversi, Petroica 93-94, 207 
Treron sphenura 223-225 
trichas, Geothlypis 156 
tridactyla, Rissa 159 

Tringa flavipes 233-234 

— glareola233 

— nebularia 201, 234 

— ochropus 234 

— stagnatilis 190, 233 
tristigma, Caprimulgus 165 
tristis, Acridotheres 79 
Trochilus polytmus 156 
Troglodytes troglodytes 159 
troglodytes, Troglodytes 159 
tschegrava, Hydroprogne 183 
tschudii, Ampelioides 160 
tuberculifer, Myiarchus 161 
Turdoides fulvus 64 
Turdus albicollis 126 

— aurantius 156 

— fischeri 70 

— fumigatus 126 

— iliacus 203-204 

Turdus jamaicensis 156 

— merula 1 5 8-1 5 9 

— obscurus 192 

— philomelos 158-159 

— viscivorus 159 
Turnagra capensis 93 
Turnix sylvatica 203 
Tyrannus caudifasciatus 156 

— dominicensis 156 
Tyto alba 159 

unicolor, Cyanoramphus 100 
urbica, Delichon 58, 159 
ussheri, Telacanthura 164 

validus, Myiarchus 156 
Vanellus vanellus 44, 1 5 1 
vanellus, Vanellus 44, 151 
vanikorensis, Collocalia 193, 233 
varia, Mniotilta 156 
verrucosus, Phalacrocorax 97 
vetula, Saurothera 156 
Vidua chalybeata 167 
villosus, Dendrocopos 156 
violacea, Loxigilla 1 5 7 
virata, Lagonosticta 165, 169 
virens, Andropadus 171 

— Dendroica 199 
Vireo altiloquus 156 

— crassirostris 156 

— modestus 156 

— osburni 156 
virgata, Ciccaba 236 
viridis, Picus 159 
viscivorus, Turdus 159 
vittata, Sterna 99 
vociferans, Lipaugus 214-215 
vuilleumieri, Diglossa 230 
vulgaris, Sturnus 158-159 

williamsi, Mirafra 70 

Xanthomyza 145 

xanthophthalmus, Hemispingus 161-162 

Xenicus longipes 93 

Xenoglaux loweryi 1 24 

Xenops rutilans 161 

yncas, Cyanocorax 147 

zena, Spindalis 155, 157 
Zenaida asiatica 1 5 5 
Zosterops lateralis 94 

— mayottensis 79 

— modesta 79 


Bull. 99, 1979 

p. 37, line 48: 'Turdoides reinwardtii' , not 'Turdoides jardineii* 

Bull. 100, 1980 

p. 62, line 9: 'behold', not 'heheold' 

p. 62, line 1 1 : ' damans' ' , not 'clatnens' 

p. 79, line 33: ' ' sechellensis' ', not ' 'seycbellensiY 

p. 79, line 44: ' sechellarum\ not ' ' seychellarunf 

p. 80, line 1 5 : 'Sterna' ', not 'Stern' 

p. 92, line 10: ' megarhynchos\ not 'megarynchos' 

p. 92, -line 41: 'latirostris\ not 'latriostris* 

p. 94, line 24: 'Diomedea\ not 'Diomedia' 

p. 100, line 18: ' Cyanoramphus\ not 'Cyanorhamphus* 

p. in, line 20: 'capense\ not 'capensiY 

p. 152, Table 2, line 5 : ' Rollandia\ not 'Rolandia' 

p. 153, line 24: 'microptera\ not ' micropteram' 

p. 169, line 27 : 'Lagonosticta rhodopareia jamesoni\ not ' RhodopareiajamesonP. 'L. r. bruneli\ not 

'i£. bruneW 

p. 185, title to Fig. 1: 'ichthyaetus\ not 'ichtyaetus' 

p. 193, line 17: 'Ichthyophaga\ not 'Icthyophaga' 

p. 193, line 37: 'Collocalia\ not 'Collacalid' 

p. 203, line 26: 'chrysaetos\ not 'cbrysaetos' 

p. 205, line 2: 'Peninsula', not 'Penisula' 

p. 207, line 44: 'cincta\ not 'Cinta\ 'Chatham', not 'Chathan' 

p. 236, line 19: 'Glaucidium\ not 'Glaucedium' 

p. 238, line 15 : 'Collocalia\ not 'Callocalia' 

The Caxton & Holmesdale Press, SevertQaks 

ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 

^ NAi. HI 


British Ornithologists' Club 

Volume 100 No. 1 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

March 1980 


Tuesday 15 April 1980 TO COMMEMORATE THE 100th VOLUME 
OF THE BULLETIN. At 6 p.m. for 6.45 p.m. at the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, Prince's Gardens, S.W.7. After dinner 
the Earl of Cranbrook, Ph.D. (presently Editor oilbis) will reply to the Chair- 
man's toast to the guests. The speeches will be followed by an address by 
Dr. D. W. Snow on his recent exploratory visit to Brazil for the B.O.U. and 
thereafter Mr. JefTery Boswall will show two films - "Wildlife Safari to 
Mexico, Sea of Cortez" and "Wildlife Safari to Thailand, Temple Storks' 
by courtesy of the B.B.C. Those wishing to attend (all members of the 
B.O.U. and their guests are welcome) should send their acceptance witl 
a cheque for £4.90 a person to the Hon. Sec. at 2 Chestnut Lane, Sevenoaks, 
Kent TN13 3AR (tel. Sevenoaks (0732) 50313) to arrive not later than first 
post on Thursday 10 April 1980. 

Tuesday 13 May 1980 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. (following the Annual Gen- 
eral Meeting) at the same venue Dr. L. H. Brown, O.B.E., on Flamingos anc 
Pelicans on the Rift Valley hakes. Those wishing to attend should send their 
acceptance with a cheque for £4.65 a person to the Hon. Secretary (address 
above) to arrive not later than first post on Thursday 8 May 1980. 

Saturday 31 May 1980 A visit to the Harrison Zoological Museum, Sevenoaks (close to 
the station), with its notable collection of skins and mounted birds, at 11.40 a.m. After 
a buffet lunch, to the Gravel Pit Reserve created by the late Dr. J. G. Harrison. Those 
wishing to attend should send their acceptance with £2.80 per person for buffet lunch, 
plus a stamped addressed envelope for a reply with full particulars, to reach the Hon. Sec- 
retary not later than Tuesday 27 May: the number is limited to 25 and priority will be 
given to those who apply first. 

Tuesday 8 July 1980 at Imperial College. Mr. Richard Porter on Raptor Migration in Euroj. 
and the Middle East. 

Tuesday 16 September 1980 Mr. J. A. Hancock on his recent expedition to the Chaco andCor- 
rientes in N. Argentina. 

Please inform the Hon. Secretary (tel. 0732 50313) without delay if you accept and are 
subsequently unable to attend. 
BULLETIN EDITOR. All correspondence on editorial matters should be sent to the 
Editor, Dr. J. F. Monk, the Glebe Cottage, Goring, Reading RG8 9AP. 
SUBSCRIPTION TO THE BULLETIN. The Bulletin may be purchased by non- 
members on payment of an annual subscription of £9.00 (postage and index free). Orders 
should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, Mrs. D. Bradley, 53 Osterley Road, Isleworth, 
Middlesex TW7 4PU. Single issues are obtainable as back numbers (see below). All remit- 
tances to the Club should be in sterling unless an addition of 95P is made to cover 
bank charges. 

BACK NUMBERS OF THEBULLETIN. Available on application to Dr. D. W. Snow, 
Zoological Museum, Tring, Herts HP23 9AP, England, as follows: 1980 (Vol. 100 No. 
1) £4.00; 1973 - 1979 (Vols. 93-99) issues (4 per year) £2.00 each; 1969-72 (Vols. 89-92) 
issues (6 per year) £1.50 each; pre-1969 (generally 9 per year) £1.00 each. Indices £1.00 
each. Runs of 10 years or over may be available on special terms, higher prices will other- 
wise be charged for certain scarce numbers. 

MEMBERSHIP. Only Members of the B.O.U. are eligible to join the Club; application 
should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, together with the current year's subscription. Pay- 
ment of subscription entitles a Member to receive all Bulletins for the year. Changes of 
address and all other correspondence concerning Membership should be sent to the Hon. 
Treasurer as promptly as possible. 

OTHER CORRESPONDENCE. Correspondence about Club meetings and other mat- 
ters not mentioned above should go to the Hon. Secretary, R. E. F. Peal, 2 Chestnut Lane, 
Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3AR. 

P. Hogg(Chairman) Dr. G. Beven ( Vice-Chair man) 

R. E. F. Peal(//otf. Secretary) Mrs. D. M. Bradley {Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk(Editor) B. Gray 

R. D. Chancellor J. G. Parker 

C. F. Mann 
© British Ornithologists' Club 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100 (1)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol. 100 No. 1 

Published: 20 March 1980 


Chairman's Foreword 
Hon. Secretary's Review 


H. G. Alexander 

The late Phyllis Barclay-Smith 

The late Dr. David Bannerman and Mrs. Bannerman 

C. W. Benson 

Miss Edith Godman . . 

Dr. W. H. Thorpe, f.r.s. 

N. J. P. Wadley 

The late Baron de Worms 

Zoo-geographical Reviews 

Western Europe and United Kingdom. Max Nicholson 
Western Europe. Dr. Einhard Be^el 
Eastern Europe. Dr. Z. Bochenski 
U.S.S.R. Dr. Yu. A. Isakov . . 
Africa, Northwest. /. D. R. Vernon 

West. Dr. G.J. Morel 

East. P. L. Britton . . 

South. R. K. Brooke 

Malagasy. C. W. Benson 
India. Dr. Salim All 
Asia and Japan. Earl of Cranbrook 
Australia. Dr. D. L. Serventy 
New Zealand. Dr. J. A. Gibb 
Sub-Antarctica. Dr. John Warham 
Antarctica. Dr. E. C. Young 
The Americas. Canada. Dr. Henri Ouellet & W. E. Godfrey 
U.S.A. Dr. R. E. Ricklefs <& Dr. F. B. Gill 
South America. Dr. D. W. Snow 












[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 2 


This special number of the Bulletin opens the hundredth volume and comes 
12 years before the Club attains its first centenary in 1992, the explanation 
being that various extra volumes have been published to cover special 
reports, as the Secretary's review makes clear. 

To mark the occasion we have invited a world-wide review of the pro- 
gress of ornithology and we are deeply grateful to the eminent people who 
have contributed so willingly to this end. We are also indebted to Robert 
Gillmor, who has generously designed the front cover of this number. 

Some of our most senior members have been kind enough to give us 
reminiscences of earlier days. Alas, some of these have died since we received 
their contributions and to others our approach was forestalled by their 
death. These acccounts give some fascinating glimpses of past events and 
controversies and highlight the characters of some of our more colourful 
former members. We are pleased that such recollections can now be pre- 
served for posterity. Our oldest member, Captain Collingwood Ingram, 
F.Z.S., still vigorous in his 100th year, felt unable to add anything signifi- 
cant to the enjoyable reminiscences which he published in 1966 in his In 
Search of Birds (pp. 160 - 171). 

It is interesting that the earliest venue for dinners was Frascati's, an 
expensive restaurant in Oxford Street, from which they switched to Pagani's 
in Great Portland Street in 1907 for the next 26 years, albeit not without 
looking for less expensive places. In 1903/4 their five course dinner cost 5s. 
and so it remained until 1920 when it was raised to 6s.6d. In 1923, to keep it 
at 6s.6d. one course was shed. In 193 3 they moved to the Knightsbridge Hotel 
and switched to the Rembrandt in 1934. Continuing rises in the Rembrandt's 
charge from ys.6d. for four courses in 1934 to 1 zs.6d. for three in 195 7 and 30/. 
in 1968 led to a move to the Criterion, Piccadilly in 1969, and thence to 
the Cafe Royal in Regent's Street in 1972, with an occasional cheaper alter- 
native of a buffet supper elsewhere. Restaurant prices being what they now 
are in London, we count ourselves exceedingly fortunate today to be en- 
joying the hospitality of Imperial College's Senior Commonroom for our 

Our Club resisted membership of women longer than its parent, the 
Union. Not until 1921 were those in favour of admitting them able to obtain 
a majority. Miss E. P. Leach had the distinction of being the first woman 
to serve on the Committee, in 193 7, followed in 1940 by Miss P. Barclay-Smith, 
whose death last Christmas came as an unexpected shock. During the war 
Miss Leach became the Club's first woman Officer, serving as Treasurer 
from 1942 to 1949, and Miss E. M. Godman became Vice-Chairman in 
1947-8, only her early tragic death preventing the probability of her being 
elected the Club's first lady Chairman. Mrs. P. B. Hall was thus the first 
woman to chair a meeting of the club, while serving as Vice-Chairman in 
1960-2, but she was unable to accept the Chairmanship. 

A perusal of the Club's Minutes shows that most of them are dry bones 
of recorded facts; but occasionally one gets a hint of the passions aroused 
over George Bristow's "Hastings Rarities" and, in the early twenties, over 
the question of how the Cuckoo deposits its eggs, Bunyard still wearying 
the Committee with correspondence on the subject up to 1935. 

3 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Relations between the Club and its parent body, the Union, have generally 
flowed in smooth and amiable channels. Inevitably there have been occasional 
coolnesses as when, in 191 5, the B.O.C. Committee, not surprisingly, "were 
not able to entertain" a suggestion by the B.O.U. Committee that description 
of new species and genera should be epitomised in the Bulletin and published 
in full in Ibis-, or, in 1925, when the B.O.U. asked that records of rarities 
should not be published in the Bulletin until authenticated by the B.O.U. 
Committee. This received a rather huffy answer that "the Editor of the 
Bulletin would use his discretion". 

Despite the regularly recurring difficulty of keeping solvent a body whose 
membership has rarely exceeded 250, of whom many were abroad or, if 
in the U.K., too far from London to attend any but the most special of its 
functions, the Club still carries on happily and subscribers to the Bulletin 
have increased round the world. For this we have chiefly to thank that small 
core of devoted people who have served the Club as Officers and Committee 
Members over the past 88 years. 

We take this opportunity to say a warm thank you to our printers, the 
Caxton & Holmesdale Press of Sevenoaks, who have served us well over 
many years and have been specially cooperative over the production of 
this centenary number, which is over twice the normal size. 

Last, but not least, we are very grateful to the following bodies who have 
generously contributed to the additional cost of this special number: — 

The Royal Society 

The British Ornithologists' Union. 

The Mount Trust 

February 1980 Peter Hogg. 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 4 

A short history of the Club and its Bulletin 

by the Hon. Secretary, R. E. F. Peal 


After the Annual General Meeting of the British Ornithologists' Union 
held on 18 May 1892 had concluded its business, a proposition was made 
that an Ornithological Club should be formed to hold monthly meetings at 
which papers should be read and specimens exhibited. A committee of the 
Earl of Gainsborough, Henry Seebohm, Howard Saunders, E. Bidwell and 
Dr. R. Bowdler Sharpe was appointed to consider the advisability of carrying 
out the proposed scheme. The committee probably never met but its mem- 
bers discussed informally the proposals, which were entirely the concept of 
Bowdler Sharpe (Senior Assistant in charge of the bird Collection of the 
Natural History Museum), and they supported them. On 5 October 1892, 
1 5 B.O.U. Members and 4 guests met at the Mona Hotel in Henrietta Street, 
Covent Garden, Dr. P. L. Sclater, F.R.S. being placed in the Chair, for the 
Inaugural Meeting of the British Ornithologists' Club. At this Meeting the 
Rules of the Club were proposed and adopted. It was to consist of members 
of the Union, who could become Members of the Club by signifying the 
wish to do so and paying the subscription of 5J. an annual session. Meetings 
were to be held on the third Wednesday in every month from October to 
June and at them papers upon ornithological subjects were to be read, 
specimens exhibited and discussion invited. An abstract of the proceedings 
should be printed as soon as possible . after each Meeting, under the title 
"Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club" to be distributed gratis to 
every Member and sold at a price of ij\ each by the publisher, Mr. R. H. 
Porter. Affairs were to be managed by a Committee of 3 Members (to be 
elected annually, one to be changed each year) together with the Editor of 
the Ibis (Dr. P. L. Sclater), the Editor of the Bulletin and the Secretary and 
Treasurer ex-officio. Bowdler Sharpe was appointed Editor and Howard 
Saunders Secretary and Treasurer. The Meeting continued with Edward 
Degen reading a paper "On some of the main features in the evolution of 
the bird's wing", illustrated by diagrams and specimens and followed by a 
discussion. The time of the Meeting is not stated but it was no lightweight 
start to the Club as Degen's paper was printed, after editing by W. P. Pycraft 
in the absence of the author in Australia, as Vol. II of the "Bulletin", there 
occupying 28 pages. 

The next Meeting, held a fortnight later at the same place, was described 
as "The first regular meeting of the Club" and it is from that one that sub- 
sequent Meetings have been numbered: by then there were 60 Members. Of 
the 4 new species from the Borneo area described there by Bowdler Sharpe, 
in the Club's first taxonomic business, only one has been reduced in Peters 
to a sub-species. 

Meetings were held monthly from October to June (apart from sessions 
1940-45) until 1955, when a Meeting in September replaced the June one. 
In 1967 and in 1968 Meetings were reduced to 8 by the elimination of the 
May Meeting and since then Meetings have normally been held in alternate 
months. The third Wednesday in the month was changed to the second in 
December 1910, back to the third in October 1945 to suit the hotel and to 

5 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

the third Tuesday in May 1953, although there is now more flexibility in 
dates than previously. 

P. L. Sclater was Chairman at every Meeting except one which he attended 
and he was elected almost annually from 1896 until his death in 191 3. How- 
ever, up to 1 91 2 it was ex officio as Ibis editor that he sat on the Committee 
and the first provision in the Rules for a Chairman was in August 191 3. Then 
a change in the Rules provided for a Chairman to be elected for a 5 year term 
and then ineligible for immediate re-election (though in fact W. L. Sclater, 
elected in 191 8 for 5 years, served 6), and in 1924 the term was reduced 
to 3 years. Vice-Chairmen can be traced in most years from 1896 to 1922, 
always persons serving on the Committee in another capacity, occassionally 
one but usually two. The first authority for them in the Rules was in 1930, 
when one was to be elected annually for one year and then ineligible for 
immediate re-election. In 1938 the number was raised to 2 and in 1949 it 
became one again and the term increased to 3 years. In 1919 the Ibis editor 
or joint editors ceased to serve on the Club committee and the election of 
the Bulletin editor was for a 5 year term with a ban on immediate re-election, 
which in 1957 was expressly waived in the case of Dr. J. G. Harrison and 
has since been removed. The offices of Secretary and Treasurer were sep- 
arated in 1935. 

The Committee Minute Books from October 1904 are still held. The 
first, which lasted until June 191 5 , was a pocket-sized limp-covered notebook 
costing zd. in which 79 pages were used. The Treasurer's book 1902-1915 
(cost is. $d.) is held, as are manuscript acccounts for the years 191 9-1 921, 
and from 1923/24 the Annual Accounts have been published in the Bulletin 
(except for 1 968-1 971, when they were printed but not included in the 

The original Rules did not state who should authorize changes in the 
Rules and elect the officers and members of the Committee and up to 1900 
these functions were performed at Club meetings by the Members. However 
by 1904 the Committee had assumed these powers and so continued until 
they decided in November 191 5 that General Meetings of Members should 
be called to exercise them and that also a Balance Sheet and Report should 
be presented annually to a General Meeting. The General Meetings in 
191 6, 1917 and 191 8 were described as the First, Second and Third Annual 
General Meetings though when the custom of numbering them was recom- 
menced in 195 1 they were numbered from the beginning of the Club. At 
General Meetings in January and February 1950 the Rules were altered to 
permit Associate Members, to which representatives of the B.O.U. had 
agreed. These had to be introduced by two Club Members and elected by 
the Committee; conditions were otherwise the same as for Members, except 
that they were not allowed to vote, serve on the Committee or receive the 
Bulletin gratis. 

By the closing Meeting of the first session, in June 1893, 85 of the 200 
B.O.U. members resident in the U.K., including nearly all the working 
members, had joined the Club and paid their subscriptions, among them 
7 Fellows of the Royal Society. At the same Meeting W. R. Ogilvie Grant 
recounted a successful expedition to Banffshire to obtain the nest of the Snow 
Bunting and the Dotterel, which were shortly to be exhibited in the British 
Museum. Mr. F. D. Godman had indicated to him so well their probable 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 6 

breeding places that he had obtained the nests on the first day of his expedi- 

The second session had its share of nomenclature with 8 new genera and 
46 new forms; membership rose to 102 and an entrance fee of ^s. was 
added to the Rules, from which it was raised to £1 in 1906. At the 
opening Meeting the Chairman, Dr. P. L. Sclater, gave an Address reported 
verbatim and this practice was followed almost every year up to 1941. The 
subjects usually covered were expeditions, other current ornithological 
work and new publications, but other topics were often included. Thus in 
1894 Dr. Sclater suggested that ornithologists seeking places to explore 
should try the interior of Asiatic Turkey, particularly the Upper Euphrates, 
in the Palaearctic and, for a winter in the West Indies, Margarita, an island 
off Venezuela "a healthy place, easy of access and well provided with birds". 
A more adventurous explorer who did not fear Africa, might visit "the 
Upper Senegal River and the elevated land between that and the Upper 
Niger River, over which the pax Gallica is now said to prevail". A year 
later he proposed Tripoli and Arabia Felix as shorter excursions which might 
be accomplished in a winter's travel. In 1898 he mentioned that the newly 
completed Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum, listing all known 
species, had 11,614 species, 2,255 genera and 124 families, since when there 
has been an appreciable sinking or lumping of species, perhaps of 
genera, and an increase in families. In 1901 he had been to Turkey and 
"The Turkish Government, as was well known, did not recognise Science 
of any kind and there was nothing in the shape of a museum at Constanti- 
nople except a collection of antiquities". Then in 1903 he hoped a B.O.U. 
Member might explore scientifically "Upper Nigeria and those shores of 
Lake Tsad lately come under British sway hardly yet touched on by the 
ornithologist". Four years later he told of W. Goodfellow having collected 
in Formosa the Mikado Pheasant, of remarkable interest "although, as 
yet, we have only caught its tail" and of the adventurous journey from Lake 
Chad to the Upper Nile of Boyd Alexander. 

In June 1894, under a change in the Rules, no B.O.U. Member might 
attend a meeting as a Visitor unless his usual residence were outside the 
U.K. Also a Club Member introducing a guest had to pay is. to the Treasurer, 
and the Bulletin was to be sent gratis only to Members who had paid their 
subscriptions. By 1896 the is, charge was in abeyance, thanks to the pros- 
perous condition of the Club, and in April 1898 it was abolished for all 
except B.O.U. members, whom Members were then permitted to bring as 
guests, the ijr. being paid whether the visiting B.O.U. member came to 
dinner or to the meeting after. In fact B.O.U. members seem to have been 
rare Visitors, because in the period 1902-1915 the accounts show is. paid 
for a Visitor only once. 

In the 1 9th century, Meetings were largely occupied with exhibition of 
skins, descriptions of new forms and taxonomic discussion but by the 20th 
some changes were beginning. In January 1900 the Meeting was mostly de- 
voted to lantern slides of 9 Members and friends, including Cherry Kearton. 
After this, lantern evenings, held annually, were very popular Meetings. In 
March 1905, however, too much was attempted: after 4 new South American 
species had been described and 2 other Members had exhibited specimens, 
slides of W. Eagle Clarke, Dr. E. A. Wilson and 9 others were shown, so 

7 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 

that there was no time for R. B. Lodge, who had been specially invited as a 
guest of the Club, to exhibit some of his slides, it being 11.30 p.m. In 191 1, 
slides in natural colours taken on Lumiere autochrome plates by Dr. F. G. 
Penrose earned high praise; exposures were generally 3-6 seconds, and two 
were of the Kingfisher. 

In April 1900, the B.O.U. Annual Meeting having been fixed by mistake 
for the day of the Club's May Meeting, the two committees arranged that 
the usual annual dinner of the B.O.U. should not be held but that those 
B.O.U. members not Club Members would be invited to the dinner of the 
B.O.C. at 7 p.m. that day as Honorary Members and to attend the Club Meet- 
ing at 8.30 p.m. This set a precendent f or j oint dinners followed by Club Meet- 
ings to which all B.O.U. members were invited. 

Colling wood Ingram, now senior Member of the Club and in his 100th 
year, is first mentioned in December 1901, when a specimen sent by him 
of a Scops Owl, caught alive in Broadstaits in 1898, was exhibited. 

In February 1903 a letter was received from the Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain, 
describing the critical condition of Kites in Wales. A Kite Committee of 6 
was appointed to preserve the Kite in Wales and £47 was subscribed in the 
room to enable it to prosecute its object. At least once more the hat was 
passed around at a Meeting and the final report, made in 191 8 by E. G. B. 
Meade- Waldo, Secretary of the Kite Fund since 1905, stated that numbers 
had been down to 4 or 5 adults in 1905, but had then slowly increased. 

It was in October 1904 that Dr. F. G. Penrose suggested collecting further 
data on bird migration in the U.K. and in December a (sub-)committee of 
6 was appointed. A month later its proposals were adopted. These included 
arranging for as many as possible reliable observers in England and Wales 
to complete special schedules, to be sent in weekly, for 30 migratory species 
nesting fairly commonly in these countries (which included the Wryneck, 
now probably extinct as a regular breeder here): also for lighthouse and 
lightship keepers to complete schedules and send in wings and legs of 
killed birds. Thus began a massive study. The report for 1905, covering 
observations from mid-March to 4 June, with over 15,000 records and 350 
wings received, was published in February 1906 as a special Volume of the 
Bulletin of 127 pages. The number of species covered rose to 3 5, and in 1906 
work began also on autumn migration, the results being published with 
those of the subsequent spring. Reports included species accounts, and, 
in diary form, species freshly arrived and the weather within 4o°N — 6o°N 
and io°E — io°W. Reports increased in si2e to a maximum of 347 pages a 
Volume and sold at 6/. each, the Committee receiving from the Club a 
series of grants totalling £95 but otherwise being not only financially self- 
supporting but paying a surplus of £40 to the Club Treasurer in 1934. The 
plan was to publish a Volume summarizing the work, in which conclusions 
could be drawn, after the 10th Report. Unhappily the ninth Report for 
spring 191 3 and autumn 191 2 was the last because of the outbreak of war 
and no survey of these Reports has ever been made. Penrose and N. F. 
Ticehurst served on the Committee throughout and J. L. Bonhote, C. B. 
Ticehurst and C. B. Rickett for most of the years. 

Another venture was the collection of migrants in China. In October 1910 
it was agreed to advance J. D. La Touche, a Member living at Chin Kiang, 
up to £25 (or more if essential) for a spring migration expedition, the results 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 8 

to be first published in the Bulletin and the collection to be the property of 
the Club Committee, La Touche to have first refusal of duplicates at cost 
price. He went to Shaweishan, a rocky islet with a lighthouse 30 miles E. 
of the Yangtsze kiang, collected 428 skins of 136 species and had a 37 page 
report in the Bulletin. The British Museum paid £20 for 200 skins and 
Rothschild was offered the rest, receipts totalling £44 i6j\ La Touche was 
then sent £17 ioj\ plus £15 from the British Museum for the expenses of 
another similar expedition, which I have not traced, but in October 19 14 
the Club received a further £21 14J. "from the La Touche duplicate sale". 

In 191 3 a Club visit to Selbourne was arranged, including a visit to the 
garden of the "Wakes", lunch, a short paper to be read, a drive round 
Woolmer Forest and tea, in connection with the Club's 21st Anniversary. 
Also in this connection a silver Ibis on a globe and an album of the Members' 
signatures were presented at the Meeting on 1 1 June to W. L. Sclater acting 
on behalf of his father P. L. Sclater, who was unable to attend owing to 
injuries in a carriage accident, from which he died 16 days later. In April 
1 9 19 W. L. Sclater suggested a Club visit to Selbourne on 12 July, the 
visit planned for exactly 6 years eailier having been cancelled on the death, 
just before, of P. L. Sclater, but there is no evidence that the 1919 visit took 
place either. 

Ladies could not originally join the Club because the B.O.U. did not 
admit them as members and there was an unwritten law against their intro- 
duction as Visitors. In March 1909 Members voted almost unanimously 
in favour of ladies being admitted to the lantern-slide exhibition after 
dinner the next month but the Committee rejected this proposal, as the room 
booked was too small. A year later a proposal that ladies be admitted as 
guests on the lantern evening was rejected by the Committee who changed 
the Rules, restricting Club Membership to ordinary members of the B.O.U. , 
thereby keeping out the Hon. Lady Members newly created by the B.O.U. 
However at the Meeting on 15 March 191 1 Miss E. L. Turner is shown as 
a Visitor — one hopes she was allowed at the dinner first but that is not 
stated. She showed 34 slides and her presence must have been arranged well 
in advance; she came again in March 191 2 and ladies were to be allowed to 
come on the Selbourne visit in 191 3. In 1 916 at the B.O.U. A.G.M. in March 
a resolution was carried "That ladies be admitted to Ordinary Membership 
of the B.O.U.". However the Club in October that year passed changes to 
the Rules about restricting Club membership to ordinary male members 
of the B.O.U. but allowing lady B.O.U. members to attend the annual 
combined dinner (yet the reprinted Rules did not incorporate any such 
changes). Then in 1921 the Committee proposed to the A.G.M. that the 
Rules should restrict membership to ordinary gentlemen members of the 
B.O.U.; however, the A.G.M. voted 15 — 3 with many abstentions that 
all members of the B.O.U. be eligible for Club membership but, perversely, 
ladies were not to be admitted as guests and it was not until 1928 that this 
anomaly was removed. 

In 19 14/15, on the proposal of Dr. D. A. Bannerman, it was decided to 
hold discussions on subjects of general ornithological interest at not more 
than 3 Meetings a year, the two that year being on "Coloration as a Factor 
in Family and Generic Differentiation" and "The effect of Environment on 
the Evolution of Species", opened by P. R. Lowe and Lord Rothschild 

9 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

respectively, and printed verbatim in the Bulletin. At the 191 8 A.G.M., 
Jourdain, newly elected to the Committee, asked for more fresh blood on 
the Committee, and a gradual move away from taxonomy as the almost 
exclusive interest of the Club ensued. By 1928 the Committee discussed 
making Meetings more interesting with more invited speakers. 

The only menu of any age preserved in the records is of the dinner, held 
jointly with the B.O.U., in March 1939, and reproduced on our cover, 
which shows the ability of Members and guests to enjoy a substantial evening 
of ornithology. 

Financial problems did not worry the Club up to 19 14. No figures are 
available before 1902, when a credit balance of £30 was brought forward 
and from then to 1914 the Club was able to keep more or less level overall. 
Membership rose gradually to just over 200 and likewise annual attendances 
at Meetings, with a peak of 46 8 ini9ii/i2.By 191 7-1 8 attendances were down 
to 224 then rose gently for a decade and kept steady until 1939, with a 
peak of 605 in 1934/35 (193 of them at the Meeting following the joint 
dinner with the B.O.U.). The subscription was raised to 7/. 6d. a year in 191 5 
because of the Migration Committee activities, larger Bulletins owing to 
the verbatim reports of discussions and because it was hoped to publish a 
new General Index to the Bulletin. The production of the Index to Vols. 
XVI — XXXIX (1 906-1 91 9) strained the finances however, with liabilities 
thought to be greater than assets, so the subscription was raised to one 
guinea a year in 1921. This proved more than sufficient to pay off debts and 
there followed a period of over 25 years of generally rising surplus in the 
accounts, of making donations and the production of another General 
Index to the Bulletin. In 1922 the Club voted £12 icxr. (and the B.O.U. £10) 
to enable the Aves section of the Zoological Record to be completed, in 
193 1 the Club gave £22 ioj\ (the B.O.U. had ceased to pay), and continued 
to donate every year except one up to 1970. Sums were given to the B.T.O. 
in 1933 and 1934, in 1937 towards the expenses of David Lack in visiting 
the Galapagos Islands, towards Kite Protection in Wales in 1938, and the 
8th I.O.C. was given £100 in 1934 plus £50 in 1939 for printing the Proceed- 
ings. From 1920-1939 the Membership remained in the range 160-190. 

During 1940-45 Meetings were reduced to a maximum of 5 a year and most 
had to be held in the afternoon, after a lunch except during part of 1 941/2 
when public luncheons were banned. 

In 1943, the Hon. Secretary, N. B. Kinnear, was elected President of the 
B.O.U. and his office assumed by the Editor. This continued for the 
next 4 years. Membership only fell to 123 in the War years, but the atten- 
dance figure, at 109, was the lowest ever in 1942/43, and the Committe met 
just 4 times between September 1939 and May 1945. Membership grew 
gently up to 257 in 196 1, after which there is a gap until 1972, when there 
were about 225, from which it has risen to the present 309. Attendances 
recovered immediately the war ended in 1945 and the highest thereafter 
was 600 in 1952 (including 222 at 2 meetings held jointly with the B.O.U.). 
Attendances fell gradually to 128 in 1969, since when they have risen again, 
with 243 last year. 

In 1950 printing costs per page had doubled in 2 years, strict economies 
were made and the Club was recognised by the tax authorities as a charitable 
body. For 1963, by which time printing costs had started more or less annual 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 10 

increases, the subscription was increased to £1 10s. Since then it has been 
a matter of ever-increasing printing costs pushing up subscription rates, 
though a somewhat rising circulation has slightly cushioned the latter. In 
1 96 1 Members with 50 years unbroken membership of the Club became 
entitled to life membership free of subscription and there are now 6 of these. 

In 1959 and i960 sub-committees of the Club and the B.O.U. discussed 
their meetings, as the B.O.U. was considering holding its A.G.M.s outside 
London. At the Union's request, it was decided in September i960 that 
no more Associate Members would be elected, the entrance fee be abolished 
and that B.O.U. members be allowed to come to one Club meeting a year 
free of charge; on their part the B.O.U., who had in mind only one meeting 
a year in London, were considering giving the Club help over secretarial 
work, publicity and encouragement to join the Club. 

The Club was bequeathed £1,000 by F. J. F. Barrington in 1956 and his 
house at Tring in trust by Herbert Stevens in 1964, benefactions which are 
of very great value to the Club. In 1969 Mrs. B. P. Hall earned the thanks of 
the Club by presenting funds for purchase of an excellent portable projector. 
In April 195 1 Col. R. Meinertzhagen (connected with the Club since 1901 
and a Member since 191 8) presented the Club with a gavel of carved walnut, 
in which his Godman-Salvin Medal was placed, with a Siberian Cross given 
him by Seebohm. 


The purpose of the Club, as first published (in the Preface to Vol. I of the 
Bulletin) was to give members of the B.O.U. an opportunity of meeting 
more than the customary once a year. However, printing of an abstract 
of the proceedings as soon as possible after each Meeting was required by 
the Rules. The presence of the Editor of Ibis as well as the Editor of the 
Bulletin ex officio on the Committee showed the particular importance 
attached to the Bulletin. It would appear that publication of the Bulletin 
was a vital purpose in the foundation of the Club so that there might be 
a publication in which new forms or new names could be published speedily, 
obviating the danger of losing priority in nomenclature. Thus at the first 
regular Meeting, the report of which was published in the Bulletin less than 
a fortnight later, Bowdler Sharpe named 5 new species and 1 1 more were 
described by others present, with a total of 58 new species and 25 new or 
amended generic names in Vol. I. The Bulletin (except the notice of the next 
Meeting) was reprinted soon after in Ibis until No. XLVI of 30 June 1897 
and then, with the exception also of the names of those present at each 
Meeting, up to No. LXXIII of 3 July 1900. Vols. II and IX, which did 
not contain reports of Meetings, were not reprinted in Ibis. 

Vol. I of 10 numbers covered the first session, from October 1892 to 
June 1893, since when a volume has been published every session, in addi- 
tion to which there have been 12 special volumes. The first special volume, 
consisting of the paper read at the inaugural Meeting, was Vol. II published 
in 1894. The cost of it (£25) was defrayed by a Mr. J. P. Gassiot, F.Z.S. 
"on Dr. Sclater's suggestion" and he was presented with Vols. I — III of 
the Bulletin in thanks. In April 1899 an "Alphabetical Index to the Genera" 
adopted in the Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum was issued as 
Vol. IX of the Bulletin. The 9 Migration Reports were published as separate 

ii [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

volumes of the Bulletin, that for spring 1905 in February 1906 being Vol. 
XVII, for spring 1906 being Vol. XX and then the even numbered Vols, 
up to Vol. XXXIV which was published in December 1914 carrying 
the Report for spring 191 3 and autumn 1912 migrations. Vol. XVIII 
(1906) comprised the Index to the Bulletin Vols. I — XV (1892 — 1905) which 
cost £53 to produce (of which all except £9 had been recouped 6 years 
after). In 1920 the publishers still had 90 bound copies but none are now 
held. The Index to the Bulletin Vols. XVI— XXXIX (1906— 191 9) was 
published in 1920: for this the Minute Book records that the compiler was 
to be paid "36^. per volume, and as there were 14 volumes, this would 
amount to 25 guineas (£27 6s.)" — a somewhat curious calculation. In fact 
it proved a longer job and he was paid a round £30. The Index to the Bulletin 
Vols. XL — LI (1919 — 193 1) was published in 1932 and a Scientific Index 
to the Bulletin 1950 — 1959 in 1963. The Indices published in 1920, 1932 and 
1963 were not issued as part of any Bulletin volume. In 1947 a General Index 
to Vols. LII — LXIII (193 1 — 1943) was prepared at a charge of £50 but, 
faced with an estimate of £250 for printing 300 copies, it was decided not 
to print it but to send it to Tring Museum. 

At the first and second regular Meetings all descriptions of new forms 
were in Latin, but later in the first session the Hon. Walter Rothschild and 
Dr. E. Hartert sometimes used English, particularly for longer descriptions 
(cf. Auk Vol. I, 1884, in which 13 new forms are described in English, one 
in Latin) and Latin was in use up to Vol. XXIII (1908/09) and, on occasion, 
for at least another 30 years. 

The Bulletin always began with the names of those present at Meetings 
and this custom continued until Vol. 71(4) when it was discontinued as an 
economy, but was brought back in 99(1), as it was found that names added 
materially to its reference value. In Vol. VI the Chairman's Address was 
for the first time reported in extenso in the Bulletin report of the Meeting 
at which it was given instead of being issued separately afterwards, the 
practice continuing as long as Chairmen have given an address. The pre- 
liminary pages in Vol. I contained a Preface, the Rules, List of Members and 
List of Authors to which was added a list of Committee members in Vol. 
Ill, a list of officers, past and present, appearing from Vol. XLIV (1923-24) 
and this continued normal practice until Vol. 68. Since then the Rules have 
only been in 3 times (last in Vol. 79) and the officers past and present up to 
Vol. 89 and in Vol. 95 (1975). The latter are included in the Index for Vol. 
99 circulated with this issue. A list of changes in membership has replaced 
the List of Members but the B.O.U. has kindly shown Club Members in 
their 1979 List of Members. 

The Bulletin was printed by Taylor & Francis and published by R. H. 
Porter until 1905, when H. F. Witherby arranged for Witherby & Co. to 
print it and to publish it free of charge. After Vols. XVI to XVIII he asked 
to be relieved of the printing, which reverted to Taylor & Francis up to Vol. 
68, after which H. F. & G. Witherby (publishers since 1932) took over the 
printing. Then in 1953 Witherbys intimated that they would be unable to 
continue distributing the Bulletin and printing of it was transferred to Caxton 
& Holmesdale Press, where it is happily still printed, with the October 
1953 number, and the Club ceased to employ a publisher. 

The text, including scientific index, was (like the preliminary pages) 

[BuIl.B.O.C. 1980:100(1)} 12 

numbered in Roman numerals in the early volumes but in Arabic figures in 
Vol. IX and from Vol. XI onwards (the index has been in the preliminary 
pages from i960). Up to 1947, Bulletin numbers and volumes were both 
numbered in Roman figures (to the irritation of those who now handle 

A separate Bulletin was normally issued to report each Club Meeting up 
to 1972. Up to 1947 the numbers of the Bulletin, except for the 12 special 
volumes, were numbered in a continuous series, as have been Club Meetings, 
but by the time this system of pairing numbers ceased they had diverged 
by five, Bulletin No. CCCCLXXIV reporting the 469th Meeting. The 
discrepancy, which puzzles every historian and student in turn, arose as 
follows: — 


No. II Nov 1892. Meetings numbered from first regular meeting (which 

was the second meeting). 
CLVII Feb. 1 910. January 1910 meeting cancelled, contained obituary 

of Bowdler Sharpe. 
CXC Oct 191 3. Guide to Selbourne (prepared for Club visit to Sel- 

CCLXXIII Jan. 1923. Proceedings of 12th Oological dinner. 

CCCVI, CCCVII July 1926. A single issue given 2 serial numbers but reporting 

only the June 1926 Meeting, the Meeting on 12 May 1926 having 

been cancelled (General Strike). 
CCCCXLVI Mar 1943. No meeting because of wartime accommodation 

CCCCLI Mar 1944. No meeting because of wartime accommodation 

CCCCLXXI Apr 1947. Reported meetings 464 and 465 due to printing re- 

strictions caused by fuel crisis. 
CCCCLXXII May 1947. Reported meetings 466 and 467. 

The report of Meeting 466, which followed the B.O.U. Annual Meeting 
and dinner, is unusual: after mentioning the numbers attending it but with 
no list of names, it read]"No*scientific business'was transacted". 

From 1947/48 until 1968 there were 9 numbers of the Bulletin each year 
with 2 exceptions. In 1948/49, Vol. 69 contained 12 issues and covered 
16 months, so that from then the Club's year was the calendar year; Vol. 
71 had only 8 numbers (which still causes some confusion). There were 6 
numbers a year from 1969-1972 (Vols. 89 to 92), since when there have 
been four (but Vols. 92(3) and 92(4) were published in one as a double 
number). In 1950, Vol. 70(6) had to be reprinted owing to a transposition 
of pages and the corrected copy starts page 40 with Cercomela sinuata\ Vol. 
70(8) had also to be reprinted and the amended copy has the publication 
date 15 December 1950. In 1952, with Vol. 72, a cover was added, the 
familiar green paper one with an Ibis drawn by D. M. Henry. Vol. 71(1) 
and 72(8) contain a short history and interesting reminiscences of the Club 
by Sir Philip Manson-Bahr, Chairman. 

The text of the Bulletin was 67 pages in Vol. 1 and in sessional volumes 
reached 171 by 1911/12, peaking at 267 in Vol. LIII (1932/3). In 1914 the 
Rules were changed so that the Bulletin might contain descriptons of new 
species, although not communicated at a Meeting. It was decided in 191 9 
that the Oological sub-section reports, up to 12 pages, could be printed 
in the Bulletin for 1 year and this arrangement was renewed in January 1921. 

i 3 [Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 to: 100(1)] 

However following heated criticism by Earl Buxton at a R.S.P.B. meeting 
of large series of clutches exhibited at Oological Dinners and reported in 
the Bulletin, the Committee, who wished to limit the collecting of eggs of 
birds, where they were rare or collected in excessive numbers, felt in April 
1922 that they could no longer publish in the Bulletin proceedings of the 
Oological Dinners over which they had no control nor responsibilities. 

In 1905/6 the Club sold a set of the Bulletin (Vols. I - XV) to the Natural 
History Museum for £4 3J. and the next year a set to the Bodleian Library 
for £4 ys. with the Linnean Society buying Vols. I-XIII (not now held 
by them). The free list then included 14 eminent overseas ornithologists, 
but in June 191 5 this was reduced to 9, including 2 in Germany (Reichenow 
and Schalow). Likewise the 5 Japanese Members in 1941 remained on the 
membership list until after 1945, although communication with them can- 
not have been possible. 

The number of non-members subscribing to the Bulletin has increased 
from a few early in the century to 53 in 1950 and 146 in 1979, and work to 
increase the number of subscribers continues; the larger the circulation, 
the more pages a year it is possible to finance. 

The Bulletin had a strong emphasis on descriptions of new forms and the 
status of known forms, although in the editorship of Dr. Low (1930-35 
and 1940-45) a more narrative style can be seen. When Dr. J. G. Harrison 
became Editor in 1952 he had to set about inviting contributions from 
scientific ornithologists who did not attend Meetings, as the Committee 
was requiring larger numbers (whilst very careful over costs), so that the 
Bulletin covered, as well as taxonomies, plumage variants, functional anatomy, 
pathology and some field ornithology. The broadening of scope has con- 
tinued and in 1978, of 39 main papers, 16 were on field observations and 14 
on taxonomies. Editorship of the Bulletin has never been easy, because it 
has generally had to be published within about a fortnight of the Meeting 
covered; but this problem no longer remains since publication is quarterly 
and unrelated to Meetings. 

As a measure of the standing of the Club and the Bulletin, of the 14 Presi- 
dents of International Ornithological Congresses this century, all but 2 have 
have been Club Members or attended Meetings as guests and 9 have 
been authors in the Bulletin. 

Address: R. E. F. Peal, 2 Chestnut Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3AR, England. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

[Bull. B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 14 


Some memories of the B.O.C. sixty years ago 

by H. G. Alexander 

I joined the British Ornithologists' Union in 191 1 and during the first 
years of my membership, as my home was at Tunbridge Wells and while I 
was up at Cambridge, I attended Club meetings fairly often. Later, as I did 
not live near London, my attendance became much less frequent. Recollec- 
tion of what happened in those far away days is naturally very patchy, so 
what follows merely recalls a few things that happen to have stuck in my 
memory after all these years. 

The first few meetings that I attended were still presided over by Philip 
Lutley Sclater, aged about 90, the one active survivor of the founders of 
the Union. I cannot recall that he made any special interventions, so I 
gained no impression of him as a man or as an ornithologist. He was ob- 
viously very old, and when there was a row he feebly called out "order, 
order", with no visible effect. The row often was the well known altercation 
between Percy Bunyard and F. C. R. Jourdain. Both of these men were 
egg-collectors, and at that time, as there was no separate Oologists Club, 
they brought their latest specimens of rare eggs to exhibit at the B.O.C. 
dinner. Bunyard got his eggs through professional collectors, and at one 
meeting he produced whathe claimed to be a clutch of Hobby Falco subbuteo 
eggs from Ireland. Jourdain challenged his identification of the eggs and 
declared that it was often impossible to separate Kestrel F. tinnunculus and 
Hobby eggs. I think Jourdain brought some of each species to the next 
meeting and challenged Bunyard to distinguish them, which no doubt 
Bunyard failed to do. Bunyard was deaf, so he had difficulty in hearing what 
Jourdain was saying. Such "rows" were not very edifying, and no doubt 
they were rare. 

Walter (later Lord) Rothschild succeeded P. L. Sclater as chairman and was 
both efficient and benevolent. He and Dr. Ernst Hartert often had specimens 
of some new bird to show, lately received by the Tring Museum. I recall 
that at one time Rothschild was giving special attention to the Cassowary 
family, so several of these huge bird-skins were handed round whilst he 
discoursed about them. 

Of the active members who were usually present, I recall E. G. B. Meade- 
Waldo, who lived at Edenbridge, and invited me to come over from Tun- 
bridge Wells to visit him; H. W. Richmond, a mathematics don at Kings, my 
own college, Cambridge; Admiral Hubert Lynes, who was working on the 
African cisticolas and probably told us about his work; H. F. Witherby, who 
had recently started his magazine, British Birds, and whom I already knew; 
and my uncle, H. M. Wallis of Reading. There were two men with special 
knowledge of Australian birds ; G. M. Mathews, who was also working on 
oceanic birds, and Tom Iredale. Occasionally some member would report 
some rare bird observed in Britain, and in such cases Charles Oldham, who 
was the expert, would give his views of field identification. As far as I 
recall, the Ticehurst brothers, Norman and Claud, were not often at B.O.C. 
dinners. No doubt I have omitted several of the active members who 
broughi specimens or made communications. Indeed I have very little 

15 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

recollection of the detail of the proceedings: my memory is of a very 
pleasant small club, attendance ranging around 20, I think, largely informal 
and with no set address. If you had some communication to offer, you ad- 
vised the Secretary in advance. That was all. 

The only time I spoke to the Club in those early days was to record a 
Siberian Chiffchaff Vhylloscopus collybita tristis which I had been watching in a 
sheltered valley in west Kent, and which 2 or 3 other ornithologists had 
also watched. H. M. Wallis urged me to record it at the B.O.C. dinner and 
Gregory Mathews suggested that it should be shot for definite identification; 
but the chairman, Walter Rothschild, intervened to say that those that had 
seen it did not want it to be shot. This incident no doubt is trivial enough, 
but it perhaps illustrates how different a body the B.O.C. was in 191 3 
from the present day. Some 10 years later, when H. F. Witherby was bringing 
up the subject of the status of the Willow Tit Varus montanus in Britain — 
some leading British ornithologists still expressed scepticism about its 
identity — B. W. Tucker and I both gave our reports on its field identi- 
fication and behaviour; but I was rarely able to attend the meetings in the 
twenties, in those early days of the development of field ornithology and 

In those benighted days there were no women members. Discussions about 
lady membership of the B.O.U. were taking place, but even when a few 
"honorary lady members" (who included Miss E. L. Turner and the Duchess 
of Bedford) were given membership of the B.O.U., this did not entitle them 
to join the B.O.C. That came much later. 

Address: H. G. Alexander, 275 Crosslands, Kennett Sq. PA. 19348. USA. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Recollections of personalities of the Club 

by the late Phyllis Barclay-Smith 

Miss Barclay-Smith was putting the final corrections to these reminiscences when she died 
after a sudden short illness at Christmas time 1979. 

I became a member of the B.O.C. in 1932, and I can well remember the 
joint dinner of the B.O.U. and B.O.C. on 9 March 1939 in the Rembrandt 
Hotel, so humourously illustrated on our cover. Dr. Percy Lowe, President 
of the B.O.U. was in the Chair, accompanied by the elegant Mrs. Lowe. It 
was a brilliant occasion. There were many distinguished guests, and, as 
usual, everyone wore full evening dress. The Meeting of the B.O.C. which 
followed was held in the Lecture Hall of the Royal Geographical Society 
and opened with a talk on West African Birds, illustrated with lantern slides, 
by Leon Lippens who had come over specially from Belgium. Sadly this 
evening proved to be the end of an era. 

My recollections consist of impressions I have retained of some of the 
outstanding personalities of the pre-war days, and I hope the following 
notes on a few of them may reflect sides of their characters perhaps little 
known to succeeding generations. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 16 

Ernst Hartert 

Dr. Ernst Hartert was one of the most outstanding figures in ornithology 
at the turn of the century. He was born in Hamburg in 1859, and became 
interested in natural history at an early age. As his father was a General in 
the Prussian Army he spent much of his youth in various garrisons, and 
was educated at the University of Konigsberg. He met Bowdler Sharpe at 
the 2nd International Ornithological Congress in Budapest in 1891 and was 
invited to London to help work on the British Museum Catalogue of Birds, 
daring which time Mr. Dresser took him to see Lord Rothschild. This was 
an historic meeting which had great influence on British ornithology, for 
in 1892 Lord Rothschild appointed Ernst Hartert the Curator of Birds in 
his museum in Tring. and the museum was to become the Mecca of ornitho- 
logists from all over the world. Dr. Hartert and his wife both became 
naturalised British subjects and their son was educated at Oxford. The first 
World War proved a time of intense sorrow for the Harterts — not only 
was their son killed in action in 191 6 while serving in the British army, but 
many people shunned them. 

Dr. Hartert joined the B.O.C. in 1893, and was on the Committee 1899- 
1902 and 1911-1913. He was awarded the highest honour of the B.O.U., 
the Godman-Salvin Medal, in 1929. His short stature, snow white hair and 
clear complexion made him a striking figure at the meetings of the Club, 
and when stressing a point he always pointed his forefinger downwards. 

When efforts were made to restore the International Ornithological 
Congress it was unanimously agreed that Dr. Hartert was the only one who 
could pull the various nationalities together again. He was therefore elected 
President of the 6th International Ornithological Congress held in Copen- 
hagen in 1926 — which proved an outstanding success. It was here that I 
first met him and from then on he and his wife treated me as an adopted 
daughter. They lived in a pleasant house at Tring within 5 minutes of the 
Museum, and often on Sundays I travelled by the very slow stopping train 
from London to visit them. Dr. Hartert met me at the station, and we went 
to Tring Reservoirs in the morning, and spent the afternoon looking at 
skins in his room at the Museum. Sometimes Lord Rothschild would join 
in and Hartert would growl "He reads all my letters". Hartert was a perfec- 
tionist and all his work was meticulously thorough. Phyllis Thomas, the 
Secretary to Lord Rothschild and to Dr. Hartert, kept the library, and 
everything else, in impeccable order. She once told me that when there was 
a great deal of Italian literature, Dr. Hartert had said "Now you will learn 
Italian" and this she did. 

Dr. Hartert's last expedition was in 1930 to North Africa, accompanied 
by the Marquess Hachisuka, but he became ill and had to return. He was 
advised to retire and that year he left Tring for Berlin, where he was given 
accommodation to continue his work in the Zoological Museum. Professor 
Stresemann told me that when the collection at Tring was sold to America, 
Hartert came into his office with tears in his eyes. I visited the Hartert's every 
year and in 1933 when the Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Ornithologen- 
Gesellschaft (D.O.G.) was being held on 30 September in Konigsberg, he 
asked me to go with him. As he refused to cross the Polish corridor we 
went by boat to Pillau. From 1 879-1 882 his father was Commandant at 
Pillau, vhere he had a large official house with a wonderful view of the sea, 

17 [Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: ioo(i)] 

dunes and harbour. In this Hartert had been allowed a room for his bird 
studies and collections, and as the house was still extant we looked through 
the windows at the room in which he had spent so many happy hours. In 
his youth, in order to increase his pocket money he shot and set up mammals 
which he sold to the keeper of the Inn "Zum Eltis", on the edge of the har- 
bour. We naturally visited the Inn and Dr. Hartert was certain that a marten 
he had stuffed would still be in existence. He did not find it easily, but finally 
he took a chair, clambered onto it, and on a high shelf to his great joy found 
his marten. Following a three day meeting in Konigsberg, an excursion 
was made to Rossitten on the Kurische Nehrung and to his great pleasure 
he again visited the 'Tummelplatze'. On our return to Konigsberg on 6 
October we had some hours to spare before leaving for Berlin and I suggested 
he might like to visit the Museum again, but he very firmly replied: "Certainly 
not, I would like to go to a movie". 

At a meeting of the Council of the D.O.G. on 6 November, Dr. Hartert 
was elected a new Honorary President, but he was suddenly taken ill again 
and died on u November 1933. He had not visited Pillau and Konigsberg 
for 50 years, and it seemed that his life had gone a full circle. 

Lord Rothschild 

Walter Rothschild, a member of the wealthy international banking family, 
and his brother Nathaniel, were the first of that family to be interested in 
natural history, Walter chiefly in ornithology and his brother in entomology. 

The establishment of a private museum for natural history on the scale 
of the Tring Museum, except for the Alexander Koenig Museum in Bonn, 
is probably without parallel. When Ernst Hartert was brought to Tring 
by Mr. Dresser in 1892 Lord Rothschild realised the potentialities of this 
outstanding young ornithologist in appointing him Curator of Birds of the 
museum. With the meticulous scientific approach and thoroughness of 
Ernst Hartert and the drive, imagination and wealth of Lord Rothschild 
an invaluable partnership was formed. Many collecting expeditions were 
made, a long series of standard works and other publications were produced, 
and sensational advances in ornithology were achieved. 

Lord Rothschild was President of the B.O.U. 1923-28 and was of great 
support to the B.O.C., being Chairman 191 3-1 8 and Vice-Chairman 1930- 
31. He made many contributions to the meetings, perhaps the most striking 
when, as reported in the Bulletin, he exhibited a full-sized model of the Moa 
Dinornis maximus Owen, together with a drawing of the Moa feathers and 
a photograph of a cast of the skeleton in the Royal College of Surgeons. He 
explained that the height, 9 ft. 4 inches, and the other dimensions were taken 
from the cast and feathering constructed from the actual feathers in the 
British Museum collection, while its shape was modelled from the skeleton 
combined with impressions suggested by Apteryx and the Emu. Mr. W. 
P. Pycraft expressed his keen appreciation of this restoration, remarking 
that Lord Rothschild had added the keystone to the work began by Owen. 
Philip Manson Bahr, giving a short history of the Club in 195 1, related that 
Lord Rothschild arrived with his model in an open taxi much to the amaze- 
ment of a gaping crowd which collected at the entrance to Pagani's. 

Up till 1933 the meetings were held at Pagani's — a somewhat sleezy Italian 
restaurant where even the waiters' coats were stained with grease and the 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980:100(1)] 18 

food abominable. Story has it that Lord Rothschild made no complaints 
but secretly ordered a special menu for himself, as he averred he was on a 

The following extracts from Jean Delacour's autobiography give some 
idea of Lord Rothschild's character: "Whenever I returned from a collecting 
trip my material was unpacked at the British Museum, which was the most 
convenient place for me to study birds, and Lord Rothschild would be there 
in large flowing morning coat. When treasures appeared from the cases, 
either something that was new, or something he did not possess he would 
whisper in my ear "May I have one ?". I gave him a specimen whenever 
I could spare it and it quickly disappeared in a deep pocket of the morning 
coat; he would be as pleased as a child." Jean Delacour also relates an 
incident when Lord Rothschild visited him at Cleres: — "It was in July, 
and many rare chicks had been hatched that year. There were, in particular, 
a few Bronze-tailed Peacock-pheasants, a rare Sumatran species. Lord 
Rothschild's curiosity was awakened as keenly as ever; he had to see those, 
so far, unknown chicks. "We have to walk a mile uphill", I said, "as there is 
no road to their rearing place". That did not matter, he would walk, which 
he did rather painfully. When we arrived, out of breath, I called the keeper 
in charge and asked him where the chicks were. "They have been moved to 
the other field, on the opposite hill" he said. "Poor Rothschild ! But he was 
not beaten — down we went and up again. He finally saw the little black 
objects; he was tired, but perfectly satisfied". 

Though chiefly concerned with the collection of specimens, Lord Roths- 
child was also interested in conservation, to which he gave much support. 
In these days when there is so much emphasis on threatened species it is 
significant that Walter Rothschild was the first to produce a book on 
extinct birds. 

P. R. Lowe 

Like so many of the ornithologists of that epoch, Percy Lowe was a 
medical man, emanating from Cambridge and Guys Hospital. He served as 
a Medical Officer in the Boer War 1 899-1901 and it was during his time in 
South Africa that he started studying and collecting birds. After the war he 
was appointed as private physician to Sir Frederick Johnston, by whom he 
was taken for many voyages on his yacht collecting birds. 

On his return from service in the R.A.M.C. in the Mediterranean and 
France in the 19 14- 18 war, Percy Lowe was appointed to succeed Ogilvie 
Grant in charge of the Bird Room at the Natural History Museum. His 
main interest was classification, anatomy, and osteology and when W. P. 
Pycraft retired, he took charge of the spirit and osteological collections. He 
was not an orthodox ornithologist and spent a great deal of time in research 
on anatomy, especially of Sruthious birds, about which he wrote many papers. 
He retired from the Museum in 1935 but was allotted a room in which to 
continue his researches. 

He played a great part in bird preservation and was one of the members 
of the inaugural meeting of the International Committee (now Council) for 
Bird Preservation held in London in 1922, but it is with the preservation of 
wildfowl that his name is most closely associated. He co-operated with Pro- 
fessor Einar Lonnberg of Sweden in 1925 in drawing attention to the serious 

ic; [Bull.B.O.C. 1980:100(1)} 

situation of the stocks of wildfowl in Europe and was ceaseless in his efforts 
to gather accurate information and secure more effective preservation. In 
1927 he succeeded in bringing about an international Governmental Con- 
ference to consider the whole question of wildfowl, which was held at the 
Foreign Office in London. I remember him saying: "I want to see the whole 
skies black with duck", but he was determined on a scientific and practical 
approach on an international scale. To this end, in 1936, as Chairman of the 
British Section of the ICBP, he formed the Wildfowl Inquiry Committee 
composed of the various interests concerned. Being a keen shot himself he 
achieved an invaluable link in understanding and confidence between 
sportsmen and conservationists. This Committee secured the passing of a 
special Act for the Protection of Ducks and Geese in 1939, and among other 
successes instituted the ringing of ducks at duck-decoys to trace migrations, 
and initiated national and international wildfowl counts. His committee 
also promoted the establishment of the International Wildfowl Research 
Institute (now the International Waterfowl Research Bureau). It is un- 
doubtedly in no small part due to the foresight and drive of Percy Lowe that 
wide conservation measures for wildfowl exist today. 

Dr. Lowe joined the B.O.C. in 1907, served as Hon. Treasurer 1914-15, 
Editor 1920-25 and Chairman 1927-30 and was President of the B.O.U. 1938- 
1943. He had a charming personality and sense of humour which endeared 
him both to British and foreigners alike, even though at times they disagreed 
with his theories. His wife, a daughter of E. G. B. Meade-Waldo, took an 
active part in his interests and after he died in 1948 remained a member of 
the B.O.C. and regularly attended meetings till her death. 

G. Carmichael Low 

Dr. George Carmichael Low played a great part in the affairs of the Club. 
He was Hon. Secretary and Treasurer 1923-29, Hon. Secretary 1943-45, 
Vice Chairman 1938-39 and Editor of the Bulletin 1930-35 and 1940-45. His 
contributions to the Bulletin were constant, wide and varied. In addition, 
he was meticulously accurate in his editing, a characteristic which was 
further demonstrated in the section of Aves in the Centenary Volume of 
the Zoological Society of London 1929, for which he was responsible. 
Originating from Angus he always retained his strong and particularly 
personal accent. He was a senior physician at the Hospital for Tropical 
Diseases, Director of Clinical Tropical Medicine at the London School of 
Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and in the First World War served as a 
Major in the Indian Medical Service. 

He formed one of a select trio who observed birds every Sunday from 
the causeway at Staines Reservoir, the other two being brother Scots — W. 
E. Glegg, a brewer, and A. Holte Macpherson a director of Watneys Brewery. 
To accompany this trio was an education, but sometimes also an endurance 
test of the biting winds. W. E. Glegg was Hon. Secretary of the B.O.C. in 
1947, but Holte Macpherson for some reason did not even join the B.O.U. 
Every year a party was given by Watneys to view the Boat Race, at which 
champagne as well as beer flowed. Holte Macpherson, an Oxford man, 
took this race very much to heart and when Cambridge won he always 
consoled himself by going on to Richmond Park in the hope of seeing the 
first Redstart. 

[Bull. B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 20 

At the close of the 9th International Ornithological Congress in Rouen in 
1938 the majority of participants joined an expedition to the Camargue. 
Some remained longer, and these included the Scottish trio and myself. It 
was an unforgettable experience; on excursions they each carried a telescope 
and umbrella and there were often arguments as to where a picnic lunch 
should be. Carmichael Low once finally authoritatively ordered us on to 
what turned out to be an ant-heap. 

Occasionally Dr. F. J. F. Barrington, whose bequest to the Club members 
will remember appreciatively, was allowed to join the party. He was a distin- 
guished obstetrician, though he disliked women, but under his gruff exterior 
there was a kindly nature. He usually carried a blue mackintosh folded up 
into a tight roll. Though he had lost most of his teeth he would never wear 
his dentures, and when I asked him about this he replied "I prefer to keep 
them in the top drawer of my chest of drawers" — a most tragic habit, since 
he died from asphyxiation by a piece of meat at a Medical dinner. 

It was announced on the Agenda of the meeting of the Club on 1 2 February 
1936 that Dr. Carmichael Low would give a short description of his recent 
tour round the world with the British Medical Association and an account 
of some of the more interesting birds seen on the journey. He told us that 
"the trip was a wonderful one in every way and lasted from July 1934 to 
November 1935, over 240 species and sub-species being recorded". He 
showed a large number of pictures on the epidiascope and though the majority 
of these showed lovely girls sitting under sun-umbrellas, he was quite 
oblivious to the amusement he thus evoked. At the meeting on 24 October 
1942 he exhibited an Andean Gull, which he explained had "survived for 
a little over 4 years in the London Zoo and died eventually of congestion 
and oedema of the lungs", adding that he had "got" the body which he 
proceeded to pass round on a plate. 

Story has it that during the last war Dr. Low was leaving the Natural 
History Museum when an air-raid warning sounded, at which he promptly 
opened his umbrella. 

Sir Philip Manson-Bahr 

Philip Manson-Bahr was a great personality with his burly figure, boom- 
ing voice and irrepressible sense of humour. His abilities and interests 
covered a wide spectrum. He was a specialist in tropical medicine of inter- 
national repute and among the positions he held were Director of the 
Clinical Division of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 
President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and consulting physician 
to the Colonial Office and Crown Agents for the Colonies. When he practised 
as a consultant in Harley Street, his cheerful manner, combined with infectious 
confidence, was of no mean help to his patients, and many of those who 
returned from the tropics with some malady have said how much they owed 
to him. 

He was a gifted artist, and even during his war service 19 14-19 in Egypt 
and Palestine his prowess was not wasted, and he spent most of his free 
time in painting. Appropriately he was President of the Medical Art Society. 
He was also a first-rate photographer, and on 16 May 195 1 when he gave a 
talk to the Club on reminiscences of 50 years, the slides he showed of photo- 

21 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

graphs taken in 1900, without any of the modern aids, were unquestionably 
as good in quality as those of bird photographers today. 

Philip Manson-Bahr was involved in ornithology from his undergraduate 
days in Cambridge when, as he has related, about the year 1900 he attended 
the historic Sunday evening meetings in Professor Alfred Newton's room 
in Magdalene. He was a Vice-President of the B.O.U. 1961-64 and Chairman 
of the Club 1950-195 3 and under his kindly, breezy direction, strongly 
supported by the Hon. Secretary, N. J. P. Wadley, engendered a very 
friendly atmosphere, with large attendances at the dinners. 

Marquess Hachisuka 

Marquess Hachisuka, cousin of the Emperor of Japan, came to Europe 
at the age of 1 8 under the care of the Japanese Ambassador in Paris, where 
Jean Delacour first met him in 1921. He studied at Cambridge at Magdelene 
College and joined the B.O.U. and the B.O.C. in 1923. He made frequent 
expeditions to various parts of the world including Korea, Manchuria and 
Indo China with Jean Delacour, to Iceland with Lancelot Turtle, and was 
with Dr. Hartert on his last trip to North Africa in 1930. He wrote many 
papers, though to begin with some of them were in somewhat curious 

He was friendly and gay and drove an enormous touring Bentley, in 
which he was almost eclipsed, his head barely showing above the driving 
seat. He regularly attended meetings of the Club and obviously enjoyed 
his time in England. I remember him saying that the most tragic thing in 
his life was when his father died and he had to go back to Japan to take his 
seat in the Upper House of the Diet (House of Lords). He remained a strong 
anglophil, and the war caused him great distress. He did everything he 
could to help his friends in Europe and other countries, and remained a 
member of the Club throughout the war and the years following, and con- 
tinued to contribute to the Bulletin till his sudden death in 1953. 

F. C. R. Jourdain 

The Reverend F. C. R. Jourdain delighted in finding mistakes in other 
Members' contributions, and his remark "this is not quite correct" was 
often the opening of an acrimonious discussion. He was an inveterate egg 
collector and his chief victim was P. F. Bunyard, also an egg collector, who 
was stone deaf and therefore at a great disadvantage. A heated wrangle 
between the two was a frequent event. 

An unusual incident stands out vividly in my mind. At a meeting of the 
Club on 8 December 1937, Jourdain spoke on the White Stork, with special 
reference to recent experiments (in 1936 young birds were introduced and 
also eggs into Herons' nests in England) which he severely criticised at 
length. This was followed by a lively discussion in which among others 
Dr. Bannerman, the Marquess of Tavistock and Dr. Landsborough Thomson 
took part. I had the temerity to join in, pointing out that those who had 
achieved successful rearing of the young Storks in Herons' nests in England 
in 1936 had presumably had the benefit of the experience of German ornitho- 
logists. Mr. Jourdain evidently decided I should be put in my place, for at 
the next meeting, on 28 January 1938 (at which he was Chairman) of all 
the people who had taken part in the previous discussion he "invited Miss 

[Bui/. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 22 

Bar clay- Smith to explain her remarks in the last Bulletin". Miss Barclay- 
Smith accepted the invitation. Mr. Robert Blockey of the Haslemere Educa- 
tional Museum, with Mr. C. I. Blackbourne, had been responsible for the 
Stork experiment and I had forwarded him a copy of the Bulletin containing 
Mr. Jourdain's speech, expressing my doubts as to the accuracy of the 
statements. Thanks to Robert Blockey I therefore dared, with great pleasure, 
to refute Jourdain's various statements with a heavy artillery of information, 
much to the satisfaction of other members of the Club, many of whom felt 
he was taking an unfair advantage by attacking me from the Chair. Jourdain 
actually looked discomfited and his comeback in an effort to preserve his 
self esteem was so weak and unconvincing that it was evident Pastor pugnax 
had been completely routed. 

C. W. Mackworth-Praed 

Cyril Mackworth-Praed was very unassuming and achieved a great deal 
in a quiet way. Probably his greatest contribution to ornithology was the 
publication of the African Handbooks of Birds, for which he so successfully 
employed Captain Claud Grant to act as co-author. He was awarded the 
Union Medal in 1969, having been the B.O.U.'s Hon. Secretary and Treasurer 
1936-44, Treasurer 1951-55 and Vice-President 1949-51. For the Club he 
was Hon. Secretary and Treasurer 1929-35, Hon. Treasurer 1935-36, Vice- 
Chairman 1945-46 and Chairman 1956-59, long and creditable service. 

He was a keen sportsman and a member of Percy Lowe's Wildfowl Inquiry 
Committee. With H. A. Gilbert he first started ringing wildfowl, at the 
decoy at his old home at Orielton in Pembrokeshire and later the Duck 
Adoption Scheme to raise funds for ringing ducks was his brilliant idea. He 
was a first class shot and when he led the British Team for the Clay Pigeon 
Shooting contest during the International Hunting Exhibition in Berlin 
in 1937, he came back with all the prizes. 

Reminiscences of the Club 

by David Banner man 

These reminiscences were kindly written during Dr Bannerman's last illness and are pub- 
lished through the kindness of Mrs Bannerman. 

To take one's memories back to before the commencement of the First World 
War, by which time I had occupied the official posts in the B.O.C. of 
Secretary, Vice-Chairman and Chairman, is asking rather much at my 
present age of 92, but what I do recollect with much pleasure is the enjoy- 
ment I obtained from each appointment (all bar Treasurer, which I avoided). 
One of the most valuable functions the dinners performed was the 
opportunity afforded its members of meeting regularly the leading orni- 
thologists of the day and of listening to the addresses they gave and examining 
the specimens they exhibited; for those were the days when collecting was 
at its zenith and at almost every meeting of the Club new species and 
countless subspecies were brought from Tring by Lord Rothschild or by the 
officers of the Natural History Museum, especially by W. R. Ogilive-Grant, 
then Keeper of the National Collections, for the edification of those present. 
Harry Witherby, usually accompanied by his wife, was another who in- 
variably had something to interest us. 

23 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1 )] 

Ladies were as rare as the Dodo in those early days, the only ones eligible 
having already been elected Hon. Lady Members of the B.O.U., not more 
than 8 all told if I remember rightly, of which Miss Emma Turner of 
Broadland, Annie Jackson (later Mrs. Meinertzhagen) and Dorothea Bate 
of the British Museum I remember most vividly. The two Scottish Hon. 
Lady Members, Miss Baxter and Miss Rintoul, lived too far away to honour 
the Club meetings with their presence, but the explorer Maud Haviland, 
when not on the Yenesei, did at rare intervals attend the dinners. The 
Duchess of Bedford and Dr. Emilie Snethlage of the Goeldi Museum, Para, 
of Brazil, made up this distinguished assembly, making up in quality what 
it lacked in quantity. I knew them all with the exception of the member 
from Para. We could of course invite lady guests and very bored some of 
them must have been after the dinner was over and we settled to more 
serious things, not to speak of the arguments which arose between prominent 
members as to how the Cuckoo laid her eggs in a ball-shaped nest with the 
small entrance hole at the side! 'Pastor pugnax' (the Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain), 
Percy Bunyard (as deaf as a post, wielding a long-handled hearing aid) and 
one of the Alexander brothers were always prominent antagonists on such 
occasions; so heated did these arguments become that on one occasion 
during my Chairmanship I felt obliged (in case of blood shed) to forbid any 
mention of the Cuckoo at our next monthly meeting ; at which announce- 
ment Mr. Bunyard leapt to his feet and said to me "You are the most impartial 
Chairman" when he meant the very opposite! The laughter this produced 
did not improve the atmosphere! 

The meetings were held in those early days in an Italian restaurant, 
mainly I guessed because Lord Rothschild was then our Chairman and the 
Italian owner of the restaurant knew better than we members did what his 
Lordship liked to eat! On nights when I sat next to him, which as Editor 
of the Bulletin I often did, I noted with amusement and sometimes with 
envy the dishes surreptitiously placed before him. One of those dishes 
caused him a restless night and he w T as then less averse to a move to the 
much more convenient (for most of us) meeting place, the Rembrandt 
Hotel, to which Percy Lowe and I had manoeuvred the Club before we too 
could fall victim to the Italian cooking. 

We were still holding our monthly meetings in the Soho area when the 
thorny question of the ladies becoming eligible for full membership of the 
B.O.C. on the same terms as men came before the Committee and more 
than one member of the Club described the suggestion as the beginning of 
the end. Lord Rothschild himself feared the Club meetings would de- 
generate into social gatherings of the B.O.U., but being himself a bachelor 
was able to express his feelings more openly than some of the long-standing 
members who had wives and daughters. 

The Club meetings and the discussions which ensued after the coffee 
had been cleared were taken very seriously and my previous comments 
must not give the impression that we were always scrapping with one 
another. The reverse is very much the case, as perusal of our Bulletin will 
reveal. Those who had brought specimens of birds discussed them with a 
view to their description being published in the Bulletin, which was founded 
mainly for this function, enabling the describers to gain priority of name 
for their discoveries. They passed the specimens round the table at which 

[BuI/.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 24 

we had dined for close inspection and the same applied to birds' eggs, to 
which exhibits E. C. Stuart Baker, P. F. Bunyard and our good friend Pastor 
pugnax himself contributed in full measure. The dispute over the eggs of 
the Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius and the Kentish Plover Charadrius 
alexandrinus, which have the habit of sometimes laying eggs indistinguishable 
from one another in Mallorca, with consequent accusation that the collector 
had mistaken the parent bird as she left the nest, brought several combatants 
including Jourdain, Witherby and Captain Philip Munn into the arena and 
produced a stream of correspondence in the Ibis, from which the editor of 
the Bulletin was luckily spared. 

Those were the days when the meetings of the Club were well worth 
attending and now when no bird is allowed to be shot on pain of being 
shot oneself, and no egg permitted (by law) to be collected, I am not sure 
whether the members pass their time so fruitfully once the Chairman has 
announced "Gentlemen you may smoke". 

My recollections are mostly of the very happy gatherings and of the 
distinguished ornithologists from home and abroad who added so greatly 
to our enjoyment - and knowledge - such as Willie Sclater, the best editor 
of the Ibis we have ever had (son of Dr. Philip Lutley Sclater of lasting fame 
in the world of science), who was typical of the best our Club could produce. 
Others included Sir Philip Manson-Bahr and George Carmichael Low, both 
of the School of Tropical Medicine, as well as Gregory Mathews, author 
of that vast publication Birds of Australia. 

When in 1950 I left the Bird Room of the B.M. where I had worked for 
40 years, with many trips abroad, we went to live in Scotland and I was 
forced to break with many scientific societies in London upon whose 
Councils I had served. I could never attend the B.O.C. meetings again 
and am consequently unable to compare the days when I attended meetings 
so regularly with what takes place today. The Bulletin still performs its 
valuable functions and keeps me in touch with the present outlook on 
ornithology, which has changed out of all recognition. 

It was a sad decision to make, though perhaps unavoidable, when the 
names of members attending each meeting, and of our guests, were no 
longer printed prominently on the front page of the Bulletin* and the annual 
Chairman's address, reviewing the main ornithological events of the year, 
ceased to be delivered, giving news of all important exploration which had 
been accomplished, especially the exploits of our own Club members, 
during the previous year. It was a section of our publication eagerly read 
and to which we looked forward, keeping us in touch with current events 
and new discoveries. The cost of printing was no doubt the reason why 
such news is no longer available in either the Bulletin, nor yet in the Ibis 
where so much space is now devoted to material which appears often to be 
more suited to a book on algebra than a journal of international importance 
dealing with birds. Our Bulletin, under wise editorial management, has 
continued to perform the function for which it was founded on the same 
useful lines. Long may it continue to do so. 

May I end these recollections of the distant past by wishing the officers 
and members of the B.O.C. many prosperous years to come and my regrets 
that I cannot convey my greetings to them all in person. 

*This habit has been now resumed, since its value to historians has been recognised. 

25 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 

Mrs. Jane Bannerman writes : 

I remember in the late twenties writing to Harry Witherby and asking 
if I could take part in the new ringing scheme. "Will you know the difference 
between a Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff in the hand ?" was the answer. I 
did not, but having free days at a time when domestic staff was amply 
available, I started to work on birds. Phil Hollom, then a boy, needed a car 
for some work on gull roosts, so he drove my car and taught me about 
birds on the way. Spending long winters in Arizona and California, I used 
to go bird watching with a retired woman professor. Later I was put up for 
the B.O.U. and B.O.C. by Harry Witherby and Julian Huxley. That was 
about 1934 and I remember asking at a dinner who various members were 
and the reply about D.A.B. was a whispered "That's Bannerman - Africa''. 

Women had only just been allowed to join the B.O.C. much against 
some member's wishes, so I listened to the talks and to the speeches and 
kept quiet. They were all very kind, however, and I gradually made friends 
with Bernard Tucker, Max Nicholson, F. C. R. Jourdain, Tom Harrison, 
Willie Sclater, the redoubtable Colonel Meinertzhagen and others. I went 
on several excursions to France and Switzerland with the Witherbys and was 
able to repay this kindness by getting the plates of Volume V of the Handbook 
out of Holland on the very last ship before the port was taken by the enemy. 

I always enjoyed the monthly dinners - J. P. Chapin brought the first 
skin of the African peacock to one notable meeting. The London blitz 
ended the meetings and my too few years as a member ended later when I 
moved to Scotland. 

Address: Bailiff's House, Slindon, Arundel, W. Sussex, BN18 oRB, England. 

Some experiences of the Club 

by C. W. Benson 

Although I joined the Club more than 40 years ago, I have not attended many 
meetings, chiefly because I spent nearly all of the period 1932-65 in Africa. 
Since then I have lived in Cambridge, even so, relatively remote from London. 
To compensate for this (I hope), I have contributed frequently to the 
bulletin. More significantly in the present context, I have met many members 
of the Club, some of them long deceased. 

I first attended a meeting in November 193 1, as the guest of Miss E. L. 
Turner (even though, cf. Bull. 52: 30, my name is not included!). I had 
graduated at Cambridge the previous May, and had met her frequently at 
meetings of the Cambridge Bird Club (she was also instrumental in my 
visiting Texel Island in September 1930). My chief recollection of that 
November 193 1 meeting was an exhibition of specimens by Lord Rothschild, 
although I never met him personally, and never otherwise set eyes on him. 
Apart from Miss Turner, my most important friendship at Cambridge was 
with David Lack, who came up/ to Magdalene in 1929, the year after I did. I 
first met him at the Cambridge sewage farm, famous in those days for itinerant 
waders. He helped me greatly to cultivate a discerning eye, not only for the 
commoner British birds but to stand me in good stead when I arrived in 

[BhU.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 26 

In July 1932, after appointment as a probationer in the Colonial Service in 
Nyasaland (now Malawi), I sought the advice of W. L. Sclater. Later, while 
on leaves of absence, I only met him casually, although he was always 
kindness and geniality personified. On this first occasion he told me that I 
would have plenty of opportunities for advancing knowledge, although the 
day of discovery of new species was over, a qualification that has proved not 
wholly correct. In the Bulletin alone, from the area covered by his Systema 
Avium Ethiopicarum, some 30 new species have been described, of which 
about two-thirds have stood the test of time. Anyway, as a result of this 
meeting I arrived in Nyasaland armed only with a copy of the Systema and 
Sir Charles Belcher's The Birds of Nyasaland. The latter, although unillustrated 
except for a map, has brief descriptions giving the salient characters of each 
species, so clear that I was able to identify the majority without recourse to 
collecting. Sclater's work was useful as a guide to what species to look for, 
not included in Belcher's. Partly as a result, in the next 20 years nearly 100 
species were added to the Nyasaland list. 

I had been in Nyasaland less than a fortnight when I met Jack Vincent for 
the first time, at Cholo. Recently he reminded me that he had left Cholo Mt. 
earlier that day (5 September 1932), when he had seen Apalis chariessa 
macphersoni. He may have been the first European to have done so. He was at 
the time on his important tour of northern Mozambique (Ibis, 1933-36). In 
1934-35 I sent a number of specimens to the British Museum (Natural 
History), promptly identified by him. In 1934 too I first met D. W. K. 
Macpherson. He was responsible for the positive discovery in July 1933 of 
A. c. macphersoni \ named after him by Vincent (Bull. 54: 177) as a full species, 
although later shown to be a well marked form of a species at that time only 
otherwise known from the Tana River, in eastern Kenya. Long afterwards, 
Macpherson subsidised publication of The Birds of Malawi, by my wife and 
myself (1977), generously stipulating that all proceeds from sales were to be 
credited to the National Fauna Preservation Society of Malawi. In 1935 I 
first met J. M. Winterbottom (later Professor, and Director of the Percy 
FitzPatrick Institute). He was then Provincial Education Officer at Fort 
Jameson, Northern Rhodesia (now Chipata, Zambia). We have been in 
frequent contact ever since. 

Coming on leave to England in September 1935, I took to the British 
Museum a further collection of specimens. By that time Vincent had returned 
to Africa. However, N. B. (later Sir Norman) Kinnear said to me in so many 
words, "Young man, you would do well to spend some time in the museum, 
and I will arrange for H. Bench Usher to help you work out your collection. 
You must write up the results". The same evening he took me as his guest 
to the meeting of the Club of 9 October (Bull. 56 : 2). My chief recollection is 
of a talk by W. L. Sclater on Reg Moreau's recent explorations in northern 
Tanganyika (now Tanzania), including the discovery of Anthreptes pallidi- 
gaster (pp. 10-19). Not in the record, the acting Chairman, Hugh Whistler, 
commented that we could expect "something really good from Mr Moreau", 
a prediction amply fulfilled. To return to the main point, however, I duly 
took Kinnear's advice, perhaps a turning point in my ornithological career, 
and worked for several weeks in the museum, and thereafter, whenever I 
was on leave, I spent as much time as possible there; indeed, it became 
almost a mecca for me. This also gave me the opportunity to meet some 

27 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

other members of the Club, including Capt. C. H. B. Grant (I did not meet 
his collaborator C. W. Mackworth-Praed until 1946), Rear-Admiral H. 
Lynes and J. D. Macdonald (then recently appointed to the professional 
staff). Grant (and later Mackworth-Praed) always took a close interest in my 
activities for the remainder of their lives. So too did Lynes, so far as cisticolas 
were concerned (by that time he had come to refer to any other birds as 
"dogs' bodies"). I heard much of that colourful character from Rodney 
Wood (never a member of the Club, but an all-round field-naturalist, resident 
in Nyasaland for many years), who accompanied the admiral on one of his 
last African tours in about 1938. On one occasion, when they were somewhere 
in southern Kenya, they came to a particularly fragile-looking bridge. So 
Wood, who was driving their lorry, suggested that the admiral might first 
cross on foot; to which the retort was, "Not at all, if we are to go down, 
we'll all do so together". In the event, the bridge stood up to the test. I also 
heard much of Admiral Lynes from Capt. H. L. Cochrane, R.N. (a member of 
the Club who lived at Taunton, near my parents). He accompanied the 
admiral on forays to Sedgemoor in search of Marsh Warblers Acrocephalus 
palustris. He said that he and others had difficulty in equalling Lynes 's 
enthusiasm and energy. Cochrane commented too on the castigations by the 
Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain at Club meetings of anybody deemed to have deviated 
from strict accuracy. He felt sorry for such victims. 

I returned to Nyasaland in April 1936, having duly completed a paper (in 
accordance with Kinnear's advice - Ibis, 1937: 5 5 1-582). I sent a pre-publica- 
tion copy to Sir Charles Belcher - I daresay he regarded it as much askance 
as I do to-day. Nevertheless, his rather characteristic comment was, "I am 
not jealous, only envious of the good times you must have had" - Sir Charles 
had a great love for Nyasaland, so topographically varied. During the next 
30 months, although I had frequent correspondence with Kinnear and Grant, 
Macpherson and Winterbottom apart, I had no personal contact with any 
member of the Club. But, returning to England on leave in November 1938, 
I travelled by the east coast route, enabling me to spend a couple of nights 
with Reg and Winnie Moreau at Amani. As a result, Reg became my constant 
mentor (as he was to so many others). He introduced me to the song of the 
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo Cercococcyx montanus. What was my satisfaction, 
when almost exactly one year later, I heard the same call at Chinteche, 
Nyasaland. At that time this genus was only known from the country by a 
single skin collected in 1901, supposedly of C. mechowi. In the British Museum 
I got to know D. A. Bannerman and G. L. Bates, although for obvious 
geographic reasons my main contact was with Capt. Grant. However, 
Bannerman, who had influence in the Colonial Office, and appreciated that I 
had been working hard, obtained for me an extra two weeks leave! I also 
remember C. E. Hellmayr, who was helping discriminate type specimens 
(presumably of American taxa), with a view to their removal to Tring (war 
was obviously imminent). 

Back again in Nyasaland in June 1939, I still managed to find time for 
some ornithology. In December 1940 I was seconded for military service, 
and enlisted in the Kenya Regiment at Eldoret. I turned the journey north to 
good account by making personal contact en route for the first time with 
Hugh (now Sir Hugh) Elliott in Arusha, Dr V. G. L. van Someren in Nairobi 
and Sir Charles Belcher on the Kinangop. The last named showed me a 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: \oo{i)] 28 

sunbird, Nectarinia mediocris, with the caveat that it and N. preussi were "as 
alike as two peas". Subsequently, in 1941/42, 1 spent nearly a year in southern 
Ethiopia, and as related in Ibis (1977: 221-222), Dr van Someren helped me 
greatly. I was released from military service in May 1942 to return to Nyasa- 
land. A year later I spent 2 months leave in South Africa, going first to 
Pretoria, where I met my wife to be, then Botanist in the Transvaal Museum. 
Although not a member of the Club, she has assisted me greatly in my work. 
Of course, I also met Dr Austin Roberts, who again (so far as I know) was 
never a member of the Club, but was a regular reader of the Bulletin (to which 
the Transvaal Museum would have subscribed). To be sure, his generic 
splitting had evoked much adverse comment, about which he was perhaps 
unduly sensitive. At the time he was labouring under great personal strain, 
since his son had just been killed in Egypt. Nevertheless, on my first evening 
in Pretoria he entertained me to a lucid and convincing justification for his 
splitting of the genus Franco dinus. He was a discerning systematist, drawing 
my attention to a specimen of Acrocephalus griseldis which I had collected in 
southern Nyasaland, and had dismissed as an A. a. arundinaceus or ^arudnyi. 
My wife and I remained good friends with Roberts until his untimely death 
in a car crash in 1948. In 1946 I took pleasure in naming Prinia robertsi after 
him (Ik//. 66: 52). 

In a list of members for 1931/32 I found the name of A. S. Vernay. I 
believe that he was of English origin, but emigrated to the United States in 
his youth to make a fortune. He was primarily a sportsman and patron of 
naturalists, and brought an expedition to Nyasaland in 1946. There was no 
ornithologist, but two mammalogists - Dr Harold E. Anthony, of the 
American Museum of Natural History, and G. C. Shortridge, of the 
Kaffrarian Museum, King William's Town; also a botanist, Dr Leonard J. 
Brass, of the New York Botanical Garden. On the expedition's arrival in 
May, my wife and I did what we could to help, but went on leave a few days 
later. We heard afterwards that Shortridge shot a Black Rhinoceros at Kota- 
kota, without a word to Vernay, who was greatly annoyed, since he would 
have liked to have bagged it himself. Vernay is known ornithologically for 
example, by the Vernay-Lang Kalahari Expedition of 1930, of which 
Austin Roberts was a member (for an account of the birds, see Ann. Trans. 
Mus. 16(1), 1935: 1— 185). We spent 6 months in England in 1946, and a 
similar period in 1949. During these interludes we met Col. R. Meinertz- 
hagen and Capt. C. R. S. Pitman. The latter is especially important to southern 
African ornithology, since it was his report (1934) which led eventually to the 
formation of a wildlife conservation department in Northern Rhodesia 
(Zambia). It included checklists of birds and certain other vertebrates, and 
the bird list has had 3 successors (Ibis, 1976 : 427-428). 

This is a suitable point in time to terminate this account. Memories of 
members of the Club in the last 30 years are still relatively green. I have 
concentrated on those whom I was privileged to meet in the first 1 5 years of 
my membership, most of them long deceased. My overwhelming recollection 
is of their kindness and the trouble to which they went to help me. I cannot 
conclude without mentioning in this connection certain foreigners, even if 
they were not all members of the Club (but they certainly read the Bulletin) : 
Prof. J. Berlioz, Dr J. P. Chapin(a wonderful correspondent), Dr H. Schoute- 
den, Prof. E. Stresemann (always ready to lend specimens) and Dr A. 

29 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Wetmore. Finally, Prof. W. H. Thorpe (fortunately still with us) was res- 
ponsible for obtaining employment for me at Cambridge on my retire- 
ment from Africa in 1965 . These last 1 5 years have in many ways proved the 
most fruitful that I have enjoyed. I am glad that work in the field (where I 
spent so much time in Africa) has not been abandoned completely. 

Address: C. W. Benson, Dept. of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, England. 


by Edith Godman 

My earliest recollections are connected with the B.O.U, of playing with my 
father's beautifully enamelled "Ibis" badge worn at the International Congress 
in 1905. One of the first memorable ornithological visitors to my home was 
Canon Tristram, a tall impressive figure in a red tarbush, and unforgettable 
as he gave us a Squacco Heron's Ardeola ralloides egg and two tiny Japanese 
Fantailed Warblers' Cisticola juncidis eggs for our small collection. 

My father used to tell us of his early days at Trinity College, Cambridge, 
whither he went after an amazingly unqualifying scholastic education, having 
spent 4 years at Eton between the ages of 10 and 14 and leaving after "low 
fever" under doctor's orders to spend the next 3 years running wild at home, 
shooting and enjoying sport and an outdoor life - a better preliminary to 
his natural history career - with only 6 months thereafter at a crammer 
before going to University. There, friends with similar tastes met in Newton's 
rooms, meetings in which he and his life-long friend and collaborator Osbert 
Salvin took part. Sometimes they were uproarious gatherings with even a 
pillow-fight, in the middle of one of which the coalman called to enquire 
about a complaint he had received. Emerging ruffled from beneath the 
pillow, the owner of the room replied to a question "Oh nothing - only it 
won't burn". The subject of discussion often turned on birds and eventually 
it was decided in Newton's room to form the B.O.U. where their common 
interest could be discussed. Later, as they scattered over the world they wrote 
accounts of their travels and the birds they had seen and from this sprang the 
Ibis. The B.O.C. was started many years later to replace the friendly meetings 
for which the B.O.U. originated, when the latter had become more scientific 
and less frequent and social in its function. 

The historic event of 1908, the Jubilee year, was the presentation of the 
founder's gold medal to the 4 original members still surviving, my father, 
F. D. Godman, and his brother Percy, Mr. P. L. Sclater and Mr. W. H. 
Hudlestone. That was my only sight of Mr. Hudlestone, but Mr. Sclater was 
better known to me. Percy Godman, the fourth of seven sons, was one 
of the keenest about ornithology and travelled with my father in Norway in 
early days and he passed on to many of his descendants a love and interest 
in ornithology. Although neither of the 2 brothers was 6ft tall, they com- 
plained of the short beds which they found in primitive accommodation in 
Norway and which made it necessary to put a chair at the foot of the bed 
on which to put their legs and feet. This, we discovered long afterwards, 
was due to the fact that many Norwegians slept sitting up. Later when my 
father visited Sweden, he returned thrilled with the Skansen Museum, the 

[Bn/LB.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 30 

first of its kind where birds could be seen arranged at different levels in their 
natural habitat, from sea-beach to tree-tops. Birds were my father's absorbing 
life-long interest and resulted in his producing a book on the Azores, a 
monograph of the petrels and, for the Biologia Centrali Americana, together 
he and Mr. Salvin, his devoted friend and collaborator, wrote the 
volumes on birds and butterflies. His wide interests surprised his more 
scientific friends who normally only met him in London, especially for 
example when a party he had invited to visit him at his home in Sussex was 
met by him at the station driving a four-in-hand. His house contained a 
library with many bird and flower books as well as a unique collection of bird 
paintings -most of the original illustrations for John Gould's mammoth "Birds 
of Europe" and some others. These led on to a rare later assembly of 
Archibald Thorburn pictures which my sister brought to a climax with the 
originals of the "Birds of Somaliland'', the only book of foreign birds 
illustrated by Thorburn. My father had the greatest admiration for Joseph 
Wolf, but conceded that Thorburn outshone him with the life-like portrayal 
of his birds. Unfortunately Wolf was a procrastinator and he took 20 years 
to produce a very fine promised picture of an Osprey Pandion haliaetus 
carrying off its fish and never fulfilled his promise to sign all the plates in my 
father's collection which he had originally painted for Gould. 

Henry Elwes, the naturalist and tree-expert was my fathet's brother-in law 
and was his companion on several trips abroad, not only in Europe but 
also to the Himalayas and U.S.A. They had common interests in birds, and 
butterflies and in plants, of which Elwes collected and introduced over 100 
species new to Britain and figured in the Botanical Magazine. There was a 
delightful story of the two driving through the Yosemite Valley on the top 
of a coach naming every butterfly, bird and plant as they passed. A lady 
asked the driver the name of something by the roadside, to which he replied 
"I call it a so-and-so but you had better ask those bug-fiends behind what 
they would call it". Another incident showing Elwes' enthusiasm took place 
in England when a man had promised to show them a Buzzard's Buteo buteo 
nest and eggs. The man climbed a tree and brought down two splendidly 
blotched eggs with which Elwes was enchanted, but just as he was pulling 
out his purse to give the man a fiver, my father called to him to wait and 
putting the eggs to his nose he detected a smell of paint - they were only 
hen's eggs disguised! Elwes' enthusiasm turned to fury and seizing the eggs 
he crushed them in his hand right under the nose of the villain. 

I referred above to my sister's book, the Birds of British Somaliland and the 
Gulf of Aden which she and her cousin Sir Geoffrey Archer wrote over the 
long space of 20 years, owing to the delays of wartime interruptions. This 
gave my sister the opportunity to devote herself to one of her greatest 
interests and she often spoke of the help and kindliness given her at the Bird 
Room in the British Museum (then under Dr. Lowe) by Dr. Bannerman and 
Mr. Kinnear. Another regular worker was C. H. B. Grant, collaborator with 
Colonel Mackworth-Praed on their comprehensive African Handbook of 
Birds. During this period my sister was, with these others, a regular attender 
of the B.O.C. dinners and had the pleasure of attending the International 
Ornithological Congress at Oxford. King Ferdinand of Bulgaria was on the 
same excursion to Southwest Wales and he astonished his companions by his 
intimate knowledge of British butterflies and plants as well as birds by asking 

31 [BuI/.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

if a special moth was found along their route. On being told "y es " he replied 
that he thought so as he had seen its food-plant from the bus on the drive 

I had my own introduction to an International Ornithological Congress 
when I joined my sister at Rouen and the outstanding event was the visit to 
the Chateau de Claire where M. Delacour had assembled a remarkable 
collection of birds and animals. He had an overwhelming knowledge of 
ducks, as seen in his volumes on the subject, but his original personality 
stood out in any gathering. Claire, since burnt down, rebuilt and later over- 
run by the Germans left a vivid picture in those happier days, with his 
charming mother as chatelaine and his fascinating zoo with the gorgeous 
red Cock of the Rock, a white Peacock, which obligingly fanned out its 
lace-like tail in full display, and the brilliant blue and yellow of the macaws 
flying backwards and forwards in the trees across the wide path over which 
a herd of kangaroos and Springbok competed in making the longest series 
of jumps. 

On another excursion the episode of the stolen eggs caused great excite- 
ment and it was only due to Colonel Bailey's determination that the villain 
was brought to justice. The party had de-bussed to visit an area of scrub-land 
where certain rare birds were nesting and after being shown several nests 
the party was returning to their coaches when there was a hue and cry. 
Colonel Bailey and a friend had been watching from some distance with 
their field glasses and had noticed a suspicious figure who had turned back 
to re-visit a nest. They clearly saw him stoop to pick up something and then 
open his field-glass case apparently to put it in. On his return to the bus they 
blocked the culprit's way and demanded to see the contents of his case. 
On being refused, an altercation ensued and despite protests from the 
French driver they refused to allow him entrance to the bus until the case 
was eventually opened and the stolen eggs disgorged, the thief being forced 
to return them to the nest. The International Congresses gave welcome 
opportunity for contact among the members of the B.O.U., being joined by 
many who could not attend the monthly B.O.C. dinners in London. 
Peter Scott was a conspicuous figure and his wonderful word pictures and 
first rate lectures stood out against all others. Mr. Eric Hosking's splendid 
photographs were also appreciated and even more by those who saw the 
load of photographic material which he carried around in order to achieve 
such perfect results. 

One of the most impressive lectures given at the B.O.C. was by Lord 
Alanbrook, with a wonderful selection of slides of birds in courtship. 
He told of his perseverance eventually to achieve pictures of the elusive 
Flamingoes on almost the last day of a week's photographic visit to the 
Camargue. The whereabouts of the birds was kept so secret that it was only 
by overhearing a conversation whilst buying bread at a small shop that he 
discovered somebody who was able to direct him to the secret place where 
he was rewarded for his week's patient search. 

Both at Congresses and at dinners the towering figure (visibly and meta- 
phorically) of Colonel Meinertzhagen stood out as a great personality, 
probably one of the greatest ornithologists of his day. Author, artist and 
observer, he gave character to all he did. His parties were unique - at one in 
the room at the Natural History Museum which was allotted to him for his 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 3 2 

work, he provided entertainment for his guests by exhibiting in rows of 
bottles the contents of the gizzards of the many birds which he had been 
studying, from the "ostrich sized" lumps to the tiniest grits. On another 
occasion he had labels for all his guests divided into their categories by 
distinctive colours, e.g. red for his army friends, green for ornithologists and 
blue for his relations. Once, after spending some days in Scotland, he was 
asked what he had been doing in Edinburgh, to which he replied: "I have 
been observing the Queen". His observations were a remarkable cloak for 
his secret service work and under the guise of watching the feeding of 
certain shore birds he was able to make notes on the potential changes or 
defences of the coast-line. 

Colonel and Mrs. Bailey, of "blue poppy" fame, were also active members 
and again his ornithological interest and his placid, almost sleepy manner 
disguised acute observation and versatility in secret service work. It was 
fascinating to hear him tell the story of his escape from detection by German 
officers by pretending to belong to an Austrian regiment with a different 
accent and slight discrepancies of uniform. In "Mission to Tashkent" he 
tells of hairbreadth escapes and that when interrogated about the where- 
abouts of Colonel Bailey, who was "wanted" as a spy, he provided an albii 
by telling of his latest news from the most remote spot he could think of. 

Colonel and Mrs. Mackworth-Praed were also constant participators in 
Congresses and dinners of which they were great supporters. Col. Mack- 
worth-Praed's work with Captain Grant on the African Handbooks was the 
first bird book showing distribution by marginal maps, a scheme promptly 
adopted in other publications. Cyril Praed was a first rate shot with both gun 
and rifle and was one of the rifle team chosen to shoot for England at Helsinki. 
His father-in-law, Colonel Stephenson Clarke, used to get him to prune the 
double top of a conifer by snooting a line of bullets along the offending 
stem, which eventually broke off. His knowledge of moths and butterflies 
rivalled his knowledge of birds and flowers and was a great solace to him as 
his deafness increased. He was never parted from his specimen box, which 
he always carried in his pocket and with which he was dexterous enough to 
make successful catches by lifting the lid with one hand almost unnoticed 
by his prey or onlooker. To the horror of his family he even succeeded in 
obtaining a specimen of one of the rare species frequenting London during 
a visit to Buckingham Palace for a garden party. There was a quaint episode 
at one of the dinners when my sister brought up for identification a nest 
found in autumn in heather clumps in the garden and asked if anyone could 
name the bird that built it. It was duly handed round the table, nobody 
daring to vouchsafe an answer, but suggesting "What does Cyril say?". 
During the meal a sensation was caused when two fleas hopped out of the 
nest. My sister was solemnly asked if they might be taken to the Natural 
History Museum for identification; it subsequently transpired that the nest 
was made by a bank vole not a bird, and the fleas were of a rare species much 
appreciated by the Museum. 

Many other eminent members frequented the B.O.C. dinners, too many 
to enumerate them all. Baron de Worms, better known as Mr. de Worms by 
his acquaintances, but as "the Baron" as he was affectionately called by his 
friends, was also an expert both on birds and butterflies. It was sad to hear 
of his recent death. Dr. J. M. Harrison and his son Jeffery, who followed in 

33 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

his footsteps; Phil Hollom who collaborated with Guy Mountfort and 
Petersen in the production of the invaluable Field Guide; Mr Etchecopar, an 
occasional visitor from France, who spoke English with a perfect accent; 
Charles Pitman, with a great knowledge of African birds and an expert on 
its snakes; the Duke of Bedford with his speciality in parrots; and Seth 
Smith, with his familiarity with the Zoological Gardens and both birds and 

One of the most indefatigable travellers, undaunted by increasing years, 
was Sir Landsborough Thomson, unfailing in attending dinners and par- 
taking in Congresses all over the world and with an encyclopaedic knowledge 
of birds and animals. Only recently before he died at the age of 86, at a 
dinner he greeted me with the news that he had just arrived in London after 
flying over the North Pole that morning ! 

Of even greater seniority is the astonishingly lively little figure of Captain 
Collingwood "Cherry" Ingram, now in his 100th year, still active in mind 
and body, still exhibiting regularly at the Royal Horticultural Society plants 
of his own collecting or crossing and still working out different theories in 
ornithology. He was a regular participant in the Congresses and I remember 
him in Switzerland observing Crested Tits Parus cristatus and then later, 
down on his knees discovering a seedling of a flowering tree which he 
succeeded in transporting home unobserved. His universal nickname 
"Cherry" refers to his remarkable collection of Japanese cherries growing in 
his avenue in Kent and he was one of the few Englishmen who could name 

Among the more outstanding ladies mention must be made of "Joey" 
(Georgina) Rhodes, niece of the famous Cecil Rhodes, with a great know- 
ledge of European and African birds and a collector of Ornithological books. 
She and her sister were much feted on their tour of S. Africa and Rhodesia 
at the time of the Centenary Celebrations for their uncle. Miss Acland and 
Miss Maxse were notable for their excellent bird photography and their 
enterprise on expeditions in various parts of the world, undeterred by a bad 
motor accident in S. Africa or by the misfortune of being overtaken by the 
galloping tide on the Sands of Dee, when they had to spend the day stranded 
on a small island cut off from their more exposed destination and from the 
rest of the party further afield. 

A lady from U.S.A. also remains in my mind from one of the 
Congress excursions as she never forgot the ridiculous incident in Lapland 
when she and I were desperately keen to see the Red-necked Phalarope 
Phalaropus lobatus but were unable to compete with a "long jump" across a 
wide ditch. However having bidden the party to go on, we removed 
sufficient clothing to wade across safely and catch up with the party, much to 
their amusement and their exaggerated accounts of the incident. Incidentally, 
our next meeting with a Phalarope was on the Caspian Sea and again years 
later in Iceland. She made a name for herself in America as a writer for 
bird protection. She turned her small garden into a successful bird sanctuary 
and also rais id considerable funds by the production of an illustrated bird 
calendar. She was astute in realising the popularity of young animals, so 
insisted on having young birds on every page. 

Our travels always bring us home at last, but we are reminded of being 
shown as a rarity in a Dutch village the Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto 

[Bull. B.O. C. 19 80 : 1 oo( 1 ) ] 34 

which had recently colonised a village and nested in its apple trees. Now they 
have invaded England and their rather foolish sounding monotonous cooing 
can be heard competing with our other turtle doves. 

Address: MissC. Edith Godman, South Lodge, Horsham, W. Sussex, England. 
© British Ornithologists' Club 

Notes on the early history of the 
British Ornithologists' Club 

by W. H. Thorpe 

I joined the British Ornithologists Union in 1924 and became a member of 
the B.O.C. in the same year. My first attendance was on March 12th that 
year. I was proposed for the B.O.U. by a most remarkable figure, Mr. 
Thomas Parkin of Hastings. As a young man his health had given cause for 
anxiety so he took a voyage round the world in a sailing ship. During this 
he became quite an expert on the petrels, which always remained his favourite 
group. He was present at the first B.O.C. meeting in October, 1892 and 
used to tell me a good deal about the early days of the B.O.C. In his retire- 
ment (if that is the right word) he lived at High Wickham, Hastings, where 
he had a very large collection of eggs. The great prize of the collection was 
a Gieat Auk's egg which he used to handle and show to visitors with a 
nonchalance and apparent carelessness that took one's breath away. In fact 
one day, showing this egg to an American friend of mine, Edmund C. 
Jaeger, he actually dropped it. However the breakage, though serious, was 
not irreparable, and the egg was, in the end, mended so that it looked, 
superficially at least, as good as new. Another of Tom Parkin's engaging 
idiosyncrasies was his habit of keeping his false teeth in a small cardboard 
box on the mantelpiece, only putting them in when a visitor was announced. 

The B.O.C. was in effect founded by R. Bowdler Sharpe, of the British 
Museum of Natural History to enable members of the B.O.U. to meet more 
frequently than once a year. The fee was originally 5 shillings per annum and 
84 joined in the first year. Parkin told me that there was a good deal of snide 
criticism from some B.O.U. members of this, to them, quite unneccessary 
foundation, which became popularly known as 'Bowdler's Boozers'. 

The outstanding figures of my early days in the club amount to a formid- 
able list. H. F. Witherby was chairman and frequent attenders were Lord 
Rothschild, Ernst Hartert, the Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain, Col. Meinertzhagen, 
W. L. Sclater, D. A. Bannerman and E. C. Stuart Baker. A very regular 
attender was a close friend of mine, who was then 'studying' in Cambridge, 
the Marquess Masauji Hachisuka — a gay and charming individual with a 
rather scatter-brained enthusiasm for almost anything which could be 
brought under the general concept of ornithology. He was always good for 
a field excursion and was popular among Cambridge undergraduates not 
merely for his cheerful enthusiasm but also by reason of the fact that he 
owned a large and rather ramshackle, though quite fast, open Daimler. 
This was before the days when an ordinary undergraduate could possess 
a car, so 'Hachi' had no difficulty in filling his vehicle with more than the 

35 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

statutory number of passengers in order to visit the Brecklands, the Norfolk 
Meres or the Fens. He had a great friend Prince Taka-Tsukasa, who came 
to the B.O.C. frequently as his guest and who subsequently joined. 

Throughout my early days in the club we met at Pagani's Restaurant in 
Great Portland Street. Scientifically the meetings were often rather dull 
in that the communications were so specialised and were made primarily to 
ensure early publication in the Club's Bulletin instead of incurring the delay 
which publication in Ibis involved. But socially and as an opportunity to 
meet and talk with the best ornithologists in the country the gatherings were 
extremely enjoyable — indeed invaluable. But I should mention one striking 
exception to the criticism above. I remember B. W. Tucker giving a full- 
length address to the Club on recent advances in Genetics and its Implica- 
tions for Ornithology. It was a masterpiece of concise and lucid exposition 
which was appreciated by all. 

Lord Rothschild was a frequent communicator and exhibitor of specimens; 
but I got the impression of a rather shy man who did not much enjoy talking 
and usually left detailed discussion to his curator at the Tring Museum, Dr. 

There were, however, one or two members whose activities generally 
ensured that meetings were enlivened by the squibs and firecrackers of 
controversy. The standard topics for argument were usually provided by 
the oologists, and particularly those who were interested in the breeding 
habits of the Cuckoo. P. F. Bunyard, a great egg collector, and E. P. Chance, 
were usually present and one felt rather disappointed if they didn't start to 
erupt. Once they did so there were plenty of others ready, indeed eager, to 
join the show. One could be fairly sure that the Rev. F. C. R. Jourdain, a 
vigorous controversialist, E. C. Stuart Baker and perhaps H. F. Witherby 
would show a sudden rise in temperature. In 1924 the situation became so 
explosive that the Committee published the following paragraphs amongst 

The Committee . . . desires to make it clear . . . that . . . their appoint- 
ment of a Committee to obtain, if possible, direct evidence of the 
method of deposition of the egg by the Cuckoo must not be taken to 
imply that they subscribed to Mi. Chance's remarks or that they had 
any intention of discrediting Mr. Bunyard's account of what he had 
observed. Their sole desire was to assist in obtaining direct evidence 
of the method of deposition, by the examination, if possible, of a 
Cuckoo about to lay. 

Even the showing of a film by Mi. Oliver G. Pike depicting a cuckoo 
actually depositing an egg in a Meadow Pipit's nest by no means stilled 
the controversy ! 

Address. Prof. W. H. Thorpe, F.R.S., Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, Madingley, 
Cambridge, CB3 8AA. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 36 

Random recollections of the BOC 1950 - 1960 

by N.J. P. Wadley 

My introduction to the B.O.C. was due to Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen 
CBE, DSO — soldier, intelligence officer, ornithologist, author, big game 
shot, and skilled draughtsman — and a formidable figure withall. It happened 
like this. 

During my time in the desert, my battery was seconded to another regi- 
ment whose adjutant was the Hon. Claud Phillimore. We got to know one 
another well in difficult circumstances and we promised on parting, when 
my battery was moved, to keep in touch. Subsequently however, after a 
posting to Turkey, I went to the Staff College at Haifa and there met Claud 
again. We became great friends and in the course of our wanderings around 
Palestine found we had a mutual interest in birds. 

When I went back to England he said that I must go to see Colonel 
Meinertzhagen to whom he would give me an introduction, and when 
unexpectedly I was sent to liase with the War Office in December 1945 I 
presented my compliments to Colonel Meinertzhagen, who very kindly 
asked me to lunch with him in one of two enormous houses which he 
owned in Kensintgon Park Gardens. They were full of skins, photographs, 
paintings and there was one large dining room with an extensive table, long 
and narrow. He sat at one end with me on his right, and no other people 
present. It was the days of rationing and I remember our lunch was kippers 
and a glass of Guinness. When I told him that I was going back to Turkey 
for 6 months, he asked whether I collected birds. I said "No". 

"Well", he said, "Can you skin them?". I said, "No". 

"Ah well", he said, "let's go and have a try". 
And thereupon he led me straight to his dissecting room, took some Starlings 
out of his refrigerator and got down to showing me the elements of skinning 
a bird. After about 2 hours he decided that I had some aptitude, so he asked 
me to look out for unusual species when I returned to Turkey — particularly 
larks of which he had, I believe, recognised and collected something over 
50 species and subspecies in Egypt and Arabia. A year later I brought back 
a collection of 40 skins and Meinertzhagen very kindly looked ove rthem 
and found they extended the range of 3 species and subspecies. 

He subsequently suggested that I should join the BOC and I went to 
my first meeting in October 1948. There was a formidable array of ornitho- 
logists — James Fisher, W. E. Clegg, both the Miss Godmans, J. D. Mac- 
donald, Mackworth-Praed, G. M. Mathews, Commander C. P. Staples, B. 
W. Tucker and Colonel Wynne, to mention a few. 

At the AGM in January 1950 W. E. Clegg, for reasons I think of ill health 
or overwork, notified the Committee that he could not continue as Honorary 
Secretary and the appointment of his successor was perforce left vacant. Miss 
G. M. Rhodes agreed to act temporarily but, somehow, by the end of that 
year I found myself in the post, my first meeting as Honorary Secretary be- 
ing in 1950, though I had not been elected at an Annual General Meeting. 

I was extremely fortunate in finding as my first Chairman Sir Philip 
Mans on-Bahr, who was not only a large and imposing figure but also radiated 
a warm kindliness and geniality which made everyone feel immediately at 

37 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

home the moment a meeting started. He was in every way an ideal chairman 
and he could not have been more kind in guiding my faltering footsteps 
in the first year or two. 

In January 195 1, the 500th meeting of the Club was held at the Rembrandt 
Hotel, Thurloe Place and guests of the Club for the evening were Professor 
G. R. de Beer and Dr. Julian Huxley. It was at this meeting that Dr. de Beer 
announced that Col. Meinertzhagen had decided to bequeath his collection 
of paleolithic birds to the British Museum (Natural History) and the Pro- 
fessor hoped it would be a very long time before this collection came to the 
Museum ! 

In March 195 1, a joint meeting of the Club with the B.O.U., presided 
over by Sir Landsborough Thomson, was held at the Fellows Restaurant of 
the Zoological Society of London in Regents Park, the attendance amounting 
to 138 members of the Union, members of the Club and guests. 

In October of that year the guest of honour was Dr. W. H. Bierman, who 
gave a most interesting talk and showed some excellent films of birds and 
whales. Willie Bierman had a wonderful record in the second World War, 
having been one of the leaders in the underground movement in German- 
occupied Holland. In the course of conversation with him he told me that 
they had been able to extract something over £2 million from the German 
banks by devious methods and it was these funds which kept the under- 
ground movement going. 

In November 195 1 Col. Meinertzhagen took the chair at the meeting as 
Sir Philip Manson-Bahr was not able to attend. The guest of the Club was 
Professor Jacques Berlioz and knowing Dick Meinertzhagen's aversion 
to the French, probably as a result of his experiences in Syria in the First 
World War, I knew that I would have some difficulty in coping with the 
evening. I always made a point of putting named place cards on the high 
table and naturally put Berlioz on Meinertzhagen's right. Had I not done 
so, I think that Dick would have directed Berlioz to the other end of the 
table and then seated himself at the top. In the course of dinner I don't 
think Dick addressed one word to Berlioz, and in fact he spent most of the 
time with his back turned firmly towards the guest of the evening. However, 
whoever was on Berlioz's right came to the rescue, speaking perfect French 
and they got on very well. I was to realise from this incident that I would 
have rather more of a problem on my hands when Meinertzhagen, who 
then was Vice-Chairman, was to become Chairman in 2 years time. I was 
glad that I had been able to have 3 years experience under Manson-Bahr 
before coping with, as I had expected, a very single minded Chairman. 

In May 1952 I received a request from a friend of mine to give any assist- 
ance I could to a well known Indian ornithologist, H.H. Prince Dharma 
Kumarsinhji. The Prince was very anxious to get to know the ranges of 
European warblers and I was lucky in being able to take him on a good day 
in May to Oxfoidshire and Berkshire woods where we were able to hear 
and see all the usual English warblers. I had arranged that he should come 
to a meeting of the Club and on 21 May, with Sir Philip Manson-Bahr in 
the chair, the Prince was the guest of the Club. He was a delightful man, 
quite young and with perfect manners and a good range of knowledge of 
British birds. Later he wrote a book on the birds of Saurashtra, India, and 
kindly presented me with a signed copy. 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 38 

In October, the Diamond Jubilee of the Club was celebrated with the 
usual dinner at the Rembrandt Hotel and the Chairman gave an address 
describing briefly the history of the Club. At the December 1952 meeting, 
Col. Meinertzhagen presented to the Club the Godman-Salvin Medal which 
he had received from the B.O.U., and which he had had cut horizontally 
into two halves, which were then inlaid on either side of the Club gavel. 
The latter was a weighty obj ect which never failed to draw members' attention, 
and which had been presented previously to the Club by Col. Meinertzhagen. 

In April 1953 Manson-Bahr handed over the Chairmanship to Meinertz- 
hagen and on retiring he was kind enough to give me a water colour of 
Mallard and Teal by Archibald Thorburn, which I have treasured with most 
happy memories of Manson-Bahr' s chairmanship. Landsborough Thomson's 
obituary of Manson-Bahr referred to his "massive frame, the resonant voice, 
the genial humour, and the warm kindliness" — that is how one remembers 
him with pleasure at the ornithological meetings. There was another side 
to him, his sense of showmanship, which encouraged me to branch out 
into a wider field of speakers and to resort to less formal means of attracting 
members to the dinners. We were fortunate at that time to be on good terms 
with the Rembrandt Hotel and when I say that we used to have a 4-course 
dinner for, I think, about 12s. 6d., you will appreciate that we were very 
well treated. 

By the time that Dick Meinertzhagen took over the Chairmanship in 
1953, I had got to know him well and any apprehension that I might have 
had in previous years about his being chairman evaporated quickly. We had 
no more incidents such as Berlioz' visit and I can only say that I could not 
have had a more encouraging and kindly chairman in the years to follow. 

Peter Scott had visited South America in May 1953 to study the South 
American wildfowl in their natural habitats and in particular to make close 
acquaintance with the 3 species of duck about which little was known — the 
Black-headed, the Bronze-winged and the Torrent Duck of Bolivia. In 
November 1 95 3 he was persuaded to show his film and talk to the club but the 
evening started disastrously. Peter Scott arrived before I could get there and 
had already started to set up his projector. Unfortunately the management 
omitted to inform him that the lighting from one end of the room was from 
London Electricity Board at no volts and at the other from Edminson's 
Electricity at 240 volts. The restaurant manager had arranged the tables so 
that there was no indication to Scott at which end to arrange the projector. 
Unfortunately he took his no volt machine to the 240 volt end and blew 
the lamp. As you can imagine, by the time I arrived 10 minutes later, he 
had blown his top ! However, we managed to get a replacement in time, set 
up his machine at the proper end, and all was well. Needless to say, the 
evening was an enormous success because Scott's films of the Torrent 
Duck were quite fantastic, taken in conditions which must have been totally 
disagreeable. This was one of those occasions at which we had around 100 
members and guests, including guests of the B.O.U., at a meeting. 

In April 1956, Col. Meinertzhagen handed over the chairmanship to Mr. 
C. W. Mackworth-Praed. Dick had been a wonderful Chairman and most 
kind to me. In spite of his reputation for being a fierce and at times a dangerous 
man, no one could have been more kind and sympathetic to the problems I 
had to cope with from time to time. I always think the best story reputedly 

39 [BulLB.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

about Dick was when he was staying at Government House in Salisbury, 
Rhodesia. In his usual way he went out before breakfast to do some collect- 
ing and arriving back for a late breakfast when the household was assembled, 
he was immediately greeted with a shriek of indignation from an anti-blood 
sport member of the house party. 

"Oh, Colonel Meinertzhagen, I see you have been at it again, shooting 
those little dickie-birds — Bang, Bang." 

"No Madam", replied the Colonel, "Bang". 

Mackworth-Praed was again an entirely different type of Chairman, the 
soul of courtesy, rather reserved and suffering from the disadvantage of 
being slightly deaf. He was an indefatigable worker and could not have been 
more helpful in working out the details of meetings, arrangements, seating 
and every other problem which arose. At his first meeting in April 1956 we 
were fortunate to have as the guest of the evening Jack Mavrogordato, a 
very experienced and able falconer apart from being the most engaging and 
controversial character. His talk was supported that evening by the presence 
of a trained Saker and a Lanner, both of which he had brought home from 
the Sudan. 

In October of that year, we saw one of the most colourful bird films, by 
Mrs. Iris Darnton, of the birds of East Africa. Captain Pitman, who knew 
the country well, described the films as exquisite, while the Chairman closing 
the meeting admitted being at a loss for words. 

In January 1957, Dick Meinertzhagen was awarded the C.B.E. in the New 
Year's Honours "For services to Ornithology". Meinertzhagen in replying 
to congratulations said he thought it was the first time that such award had 
been made to an amateur for his hobby. But those who knew more of his 
life were well aware that there were other reasons for this high honour. 

Early in 1957, we had a further visit from Willie Bierman who had come 
over specially from Haarlem to address the Club and as usual his charming 
personality, character and interesting talk entranced the meeting. The subject 
was a trip to Morocco. At the end of the year an unusual guest was Dr. 
Senor J. A. Valverde. He spoke on migration through the Occidental 
Sahara, a subject which appealed to a great number of members and he 
proferred a completely new interpretation of the movement of birds through 
this part of the world. 

In 1958 there was a considerable amendment to the rules as a result of 
the weaknesses seen in the Club's finances, and the year also saw the inaugura- 
tion in December of a new type of meeting at which a controversial discus- 
sion was arranged. The subject matter was "Do nesting birds need protection 
from egg collectors, ringers, photographers and bird watchers? Do the 
contributions to science justify the disturbances that these enthusiasts cause?". 
The evening was vastly entertaining thanks to the contribution of Maurie 
F. M. Meiklejohn, who with a wicked humour and a spirit of sweet un- 
reasonableness, castigated all "who interested themselves in birds, as 
unmitigated nuisances to the birds themselves" differing in degree only 
from the tripper in his Ornithological Alphabet "who planted her stern 
on the nest of a Roseate Tern". It was recorded that the meeting was even- 
tually closed in a spirit of seasonal goodwill. 

In April 1959, Mackworth-Praed handed over the chairmanship to Captain 
C. R. F. Pitman who was again a charming, considerate and a forceful holder 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 40 

of the office. By that time I think that my ideas were beginning to run out 
and he was always helpful in suggesting new subjects for discussion. 

Finally, at the end of a truly vintage ornithological decade, in April i960 
I felt that my 10 years were enough and I asked to be replaced as Honorary 
Secreatry. I had had a wonderful experience, meeting literally hundreds of 
the leading ornithologists of this country, Europe, America, Africa, Asia, 
and Australasia. I had begun to learn a little about ornithology and even 
more about human nature. It is saddening to remember those in high places 
who died and have died since and cruel that so much knowledge, experience, 
character and ability should have come to an end. 

Address: N. J. P. Wadley, Pound House, Charles Hill, Tilford, Surrey. 
@ British Ornithologists' Club 

Some reminiscences of the British Ornithologists' Club 

by C. G. M. de Worms 

Baron de Worms kindly sent these reminiscences shortly before his last illness, and 
they are published through the kindness of his niece, Mrs. Anne Brown. 

It is indeed a privilege to have been invited as one of the "old guard" 
of the B.O.C. to contribute my reminiscences, since they go back for more 
than half a century, for this hundredth volume of the Bulletin. I have been a 
fairly regular attendant at the meetings since I was originally elected as far 
back as 1924, so that I have seen many people and many changes in that long 
period covering the fortunes of the Club, which we are glad to see is still 
flourishing today as it was over 50 years ago. 

My sponsor at that time was the celebrated animal-lover and benefactor, 
Alfred Ezra, known the world over as "Chips". His gifts of rare animals and 
birds to the London Zoo were legion. In those days exhibits after each 
dinner were very much de rigueur and few passed without our hearing the 
voice of Chips Ezra or those of other eminent ornithologists who used to 
bring along stuffed examples of some local rarity or new subspecies. 

Our venue when I joined the Club was the fashionable restaurant Pagani's 
in Great Portland Street. It has long since disappeared, but the excellent 
menu provided used not to cost more than some 5 shillings. Well do I 
remember the furot among the members when, in the late 1920*8, the 
management wanted to put up the price to 6/6. Those were the days when 
frequent visitors to these dinners were what might be termed the giants of 
ornithology. Possibly the most noteworthy among them was Lord (Walter) 
Rothschild with his somewhat massive frame and deep resounding voice, 
who died in 1937. He always had something to show from his famous 
museum at Tring, and was often accompanied by his equally eminent 
curator of birds, Dr. Ernst Hartert, whose slim figure was indeed in great 
contrast to that of his employer. He too always had something of special 
import to say in his guttural accent. He returned to Germany in 1930 at 
about the time we changed our haven for the dinners to the Rembrandt 
Hotel in South Kensington. This was to be our venue for the next 40 years, 

41 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980:100(1)] 

taking us to the end of the 1960's, through the Second World War years, 
during which the Club continued with lunches at suitable intervals. 

It was those first years at the Rembrandt during the 1930'$ that possibly 
saw the most colourful period for the Club, but regretably there are now 
few survivors who attended our meetings during those eventful days. I have 
already referred to Lord Rothschild and Dr. Hartert, but on occasion we 
also had the pleasure of the company of an equally celebrated member of 
the entomological world, with a very good knowledge of birds, who was 
also at Tring Museum, in the person of Dr. Karl Jordan. He outlived his two 
colleagues eventually dying in 1959 at the amazing age of 97. His fine 
features, with a big beard and an appearance of extreme learning, helped to 
add much dignity to our gatherings in those somewhat far-off days. At that 
time our secretary was the redoubtable Dr. Carmichael Low with his broad 
Scottish brogue. He did more than anyone in those days to promote the 
welfare of the Club and arrange interesting displays and discourses at our 
dinners, which continued without a break usually on the third Wednesday 
in each month, except for the period from June to September. A regular 
attendant at these functions and probably the most controversial figure at 
that time was the Rev. F. C. R. Jordain, known to most people in the bird 
world as "Pastor Pugnax", for he could not abide those whose views on 
certain subjects did not always tally with his own or with some generally 
accepted precept. He did not mince matters on numerous occasions when at 
these Club dinners, possibly most notably on those occasions when the 
nesting habits of the cuckoo and its mode of laying were discussed. A great 
protagonist on this point, with very fixed views, was Mr. P. F. Bunyard, 
who did not spare any efforts to publicise and propagate them. His theories 
were very different from and adverse to those of the Pastor. When it was 
known that these two members were likely to be facing each other over the 
dinner table, there was quite a rush to come and hear a "Bunyard- Jourdain 
scrap', which often ended with the Chairman having to call for the end of the 
controversy and the many heated words flowing from the reverend gentle- 
man. As Mr. Bunyard was hard of hearing, he used to cup his ears to try and 
hear the comments on his remarks and would appeal to his neighbour to 
clarify them. No one ever dared to repeat those that emanated from the 
Rev. Jourdain, which were usually tart and seldom very complimentary. 

In those days at the Rembrandt the attendance was seldom less than 30 
members and guests, and usually the dinner was followed by displays of 
specimens when there was no set lecture. The stuffed birds were handed 
round and comments asked for after the exhibitor had made his initial 
remarks. Examples from Tring Museum were always well to the forefront, 
but many other well-known members used to bring their share, often from 
Europe and also from the home front. Among leading exhibitors in this 
field was the tall but somewhat gaunt figure of A. F. Witherby, one of the 
greatest authorities of his day on British birds. He always attracted special 
attention with his erudite remarks and comments. Another world-renowned 
authority whom we used to see quite frequently was E. C. Stuart Baker, who 
would talk to us on birds of the Far East, mainly from India and beyond. 
We also occasionally saw W. S. Sclater, yet another famous name in the 
world of ornithology, who so regretably met an untimely end from one of 
Hitler's bombings of London. We quite frequently had displays and talks on 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(1)] 42 

parrots from the Marquis of Tavistock, who had become Duke of Bedford 
before he also died tragically during the War. Even as far back as the early 
1930's, Cyril Mackworth-Praed was a very active member of the Club, 
doing so much to further its welfare for the next 40 years, almost up to the 
time of his death in 1974. It was also at this time that Sir Landsborough 
Thomson was well in the forefront of those who came to our gatherings, 
which also saw such well-known figures as Charles Oldham, C. Payne 
Gallwey and E. G. B. Meade- Waldo, David Seth Smith, Dr. David Banner- 
man; while from the Zoo we had the eminent pathologist Dr. I. Lucas. An 
occasional visitor too was Capt. Collingwood Ingram, who joined the 
Union as far back as 1901 and is still with us, approaching his century. One 
of the most outstanding and upstanding figures was Col. Dick Meinertzhagen, 
who was always very outspoken on matters ornithological; but everything 
he said and did in this field was of great import. Many most distinguished 
foreign visitors used to honour us, not least M. Charles Delacour of France 
and New York, whom we still see on occasions. 

A most entertaining figure at our meetings was Rear Admiral Lynes, a 
very jaunty personality, whose favourite subject for a long time was the 
genus Cistkola, which always attracted quite a large audience. Both Max 
Nicholson and Prof. W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge were already giving us 
their most interesting talks, still enjoyed by members to the present day. 

Ladies too were always then, as now, most welcome at our gatherings 
though not admitted members until 1922. The most regular frequenters in 
the 1930's were Miss Cynthia Longfield, whose presence we greatly miss 
since her retirement to Eire. Miss Clem Acland was another whom we 
often saw, as also was Miss Phyllis Barclay- Smith, who is still very much 
with us. Until her recent death, we used to see much of Miss "Jory" Rhodes, 
niece ( >f the famous statesman. In those days a great annual occasion was 
the joint dinner of the Club and the Union which took place in early March 
at the Rembrandt, with usually well over a hundred present and everyone in 
full evening dress. After a sumptuous meal of six courses, we were entertained 
with films and slides of the highest quality. I note that after the dinner in 
1936 we had no less than seven items on the programme, all by leading 

The Club's activities, of course, were very much disrupted in 1939 by 
the onset of war. Most members became otherwise engaged than on searching 
for birds; but towards the end of the conflict, lunch-time meetings were 
arranged, as already mentioned. I shall always remember one of these at the 
Rembrandt when our speaker was that famous soldier, Field Marshall 
Lord Alanbrooke, who was able to take time off from his onerous and 
responsible duties as C.I.G.S. to talk to us on his chief experiences in the 
study of birds. In after years I used to meet him on the train journey to 
Waterloo, and once he told me his main enjoyment of the Yalta Conference 
in 1945 was to see a flock of Red-breasted Geese fly past his hotel window 
each day. 

Our normal dinners were resumed after the war, and in this period the 
chief landmark was the 500th meeting of the Club which took place on 
17 January 195 1, at the Rembrandt, with a very big and distinguished 
attendance. We had as our Chairman the imposing figure of Sir Philip 
Manson Bahr, of somewhat Churchillian appearance, who gave us a resume 

43 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

of the history of the Club {Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 71 : 2,-5) since its inception in 1 892, 
chiefly at the instance and instigation of Dr. Bowdler Sharpe, one of the 
great ornithologists of that day. Sir Philip traced the Club's vicissitudes 
and activities for the subsequent near sixty years. On that memorable occasion 
too we were addressed by Sir Gavin de Beer, then Director of the Natural 
History Museum, on his early days in pursuit of studies in ornithology, 
when he was at Cambridge and in later years. In the following year, after 
the Sixtieth Annual General Meeting of the Club on 16 April 1952 almost 
60 members and guests were regaled to a most fascinating talk and film 
given by the American authority, Roger Tory Peterson, who we are happy 
to say is still very active. On that occasion he spoke on the comparison of 
bird migration in the Americas with that in the British Isles and parts of 

The next most important and equally memorable landmark was when 
members of the Club participated in the Centenary celebrations of the Union, 
which were held at Cambridge during the weekend of 20-23 March 1959. 
I remember we were all housed in sumptuous rooms in the colleges, with 
myself staying at St. John's. There were receptions and dinners for the large 
gathering of British and overseas members and distinguished foreign 
delegates, some of whom delivered most illuminating lectures. This great 
occasion culminated with a big dinner for most of the participants, held in 
Fishmongers Hall in the City of London on 23 March. Later that year, on 
15 December 1959 a special Club dinner was held at the Rembrandt in 
connection with bird artists and a special display of pictures was shown, 
some by Sir Peter Scott, a novel and most entertaining evening. During most 
of the 1950's the joint Annual Dinner of the Club and the Union, which still 
continued to be held at the March meeting, took place at the restaurant of 
the Zoological Society, with the customary showing of ornithological and 
wildlife films and slides. In 1962, the Annual General Meeting of the 
Union, together with the Dinner, was removed from London, its first 
venue being in Edinburgh, and since then this policy has been followed up 
with an annual conference and dinner, with a preference usually for some 
University centre, though Wexford in Eire was the venue in 1975. However 
the dinners of the club continued without a break, still at the Rembrandt 
until 1969, when for various reasons, not least the increasing expense of 
these functions, we moved to the Criterion Restaurant in Piccadilly Circus. 
During the decade of the 1960's we still met on the third Tuesday in each 
month, except in the summer period, with interesting papers and displays, 
by leading experts such as Reg Moreau, Capt. C. H. B. Grant and James 
Fisher, all sad to say no longer with us. In late 1972, when our meetings 
were bi-monthly, we moved to the Cafe Royal in Regent Street with very 
good and spacious accommodation, since the Criterion had closed its doors. 
However, with even higher rises in costs, in recent years we have met at 
various venues, of which the Senior Common Room at Imperial College is 
the most congenial. Here we continue to have our customary illuminating 
talks, with the Club still very much alive and generally viable. 

Let us hope the Club will go forward to celebrate in 1992 the centenary of its 
foundation in the same healthy state and with equally enthusiastic members 
that has been its feature up to the present time. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 44 


Co-operative ornithology and conservation 
in Western Europe 

by E. M. Nicholson 

It is more than a century since Hungary set up the world's first Scientific 
Institute for ornithology, and not much less since informal talks in Vienna, 
led by German agriculturalists and foresters, resulted in the first of the 
International Ornithological Congresses (I.O.C.), preoccupied with bird 
protection. Only at the turn of the century, with the 3rd Congress in Paris, 
did the centre of gravity begin to shift to Western Europe and only during 
the 1920*5 did the few earlier pioneering co-operative investigations lead 
to a start towards permanent organisation. It began in London, but on 
American initiative, with the establishment in 1922 of the International 
Committee (now Council) for Bird Preservation, so magnificently served 
by Phyllis Barclay-Smith from 1924 until her death this New Year. Early 
ringing schemes and bird observatories such as Heligoland and Rossitten 
had opened the eyes of gifted young ornithologists such as Landsborough 
Thomson to the potential of organised ornithology. The idea spread through 
discussion at meetings, encouragement by such journals as H. F. Witherby's 
British Birds, and field trials. 

It seems that a main stimulus to extending co-operative investigations 
beyond bird-marking was given by the 1908 irruption from Russia actoss 
western Europe of Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus, quickly followed 
by that of the Crossbill Loxia curvirostra. These were reported on by von 
Tschusi in Germany, and in British Birds, but the resulting movement was 
almost nipped in the bud by World War I. It was haltingly resumed in the 
i92o's with the path-finding Oxford Expeditions to Spitsbergen and the 
building up by F. C. R. Jourdain and B. W. Tucker of the Oxford Ornitho- 
logical Society, through which the present writer organised the Oxford 
Bird Census in 1927 and, with that springboard, the 1928 British Birds 
national census of heronries in 1928. 

The success of these ventures in attracting active participants made 
possible in the 1930*5 the creation of twin focal points: the Edward Grey 
Institute, professionally oriented, and the amateur-based British Trust for 
Ornithology, whose membership was increased and trained to higher 
standards by a systematic series of national co-operative investigations into 
the spread of the Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, the status of the 
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola, the habitat of the Lapwing Vanellus vamllus 
and many more. An accompanying offshoot was the British network of 
bird observatories, experimentally tested by the Oxford Trapping Station 
from 1927, then taken up by R. M. Lockley at Skokholm, by Scottish ornitho- 
logists at the Isle of May and enthusiastically developed elsewhere under 
the guidance of W. B. Alexander, first Director of the Edward Grey Institute. 

In France there was simultaneously established in 1930 a Service Central 
de Recherches sur la Migration des Oiseaux, but it was concentrated upon 
providing rings, registering recoveries and initiating sub-stations for bird- 
marking studies. Its Director, M. A. Chapellier, was however the first to 
call attention to the growing number of ornithological stations in Europe, 

45 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

of which he counted in UOiseau examples in 24 countries. He proposed 
the promotion of closer collaboration between these by means of an inter- 
national co-ordinating body, which was only to come into being some 
two decades later in the shape of EURING. 

These trains of thought were stimulated by the fortunate coincidence that 
the 8th I.O.C. was held in 1934 in Oxford, where it enabled a wide range of 
world ornithologists to see and discuss what was being done and planned 
there. Among fruitful contributions to this theme was that of Dr. J. Schenk 
of Hungary, who reminded the Congress that on such matters as migration 
field ornithologists must first find the facts and then pass them to laboratory 
ornithologists for evaluation. In Central Europe, as in the United States, 
the stimulus for organised investigations had come partly from the attempt 
to discover which birds were beneficial and which harmful to agriculture — 
a simplist approach which modern ecology has largely outdated. 

Bird protection 40-50 years ago was deeply preoccupied with legislation, 
and to a less extent with educating the young. Resources available were 
extremely scanty, and a priority claim to them was the employment of 
watchers at sites where rare birds were especially vulnerable to disturbance 
or to robbery by egg-collectors, from Shetland to Dungeness and to the 
Welsh Kite Milvus milvus country. Several species, including the Kite and 
the Great Skua Stercorarius skua were probably saved from extinction in 
Britain by these measures. The menace of oil pollution at sea was also realistic- 
ally evaluated, but not effectively checked. Although much dedicated and 
useful work was done, the whole movement was internally split and had 
little understanding of or contact with any kind of research. The internation- 
ally leading figure, Dr. Lonnberg of Sweden, was somewhat preoccupied 
with the risk that overshooting and other adverse factors would lead to the 
extinction of certain waterfowl, as had occurred with the Labrador Duck 
in North America. The bodies convened to examine and deal with that aspect 
inevitably overlapped and fell foul of wildfowlers who saw things otherwise. 

While World War I had slaughtered promising young ornithologists in 
dozens, and disillusioned or sidetracked others, the different character of 
World War II had an opposite effect. Many keen bird-watchers found them- 
selves marooned for long periods at remote airfields, ports or radar stations 
with no alternative leisure pursuit, and willy-nilly turned to more serious 
field ornithology. Flying officers escorting Atlantic convoys could keep an 
eye successively on movements of U-Boats and of oceanic birds. Even 
prisoner-of-war camps became hives of organised intensive study of their 
bird life, guided by eminent ornithological colleagues who happened at 
the time to be enemy nationals. How far such experiences were common to 
other European nationals is not clear; it certainly revolutionised the situation 
in Britain. Hundreds of young men and a number of young women came 
out of the Forces after the war keen to pursue this new interest. Most of 
them had considerable talents and qualifications in some science or profes- 
sion, or simply in getting things done resourcefully and without fuss. These 
endowments, however, did not instantly relate to ornithology or conserva- 
tion, for which they were raw recruits. Some experienced ornithologists 
viewed with alarm the risks of ornithology being swamped by a tidal wave 
of ignorant newcomers, and were ready to build stockades against them. 
Those of us who were then leading the British Trust for Ornithology felt 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 46 

that the difficulties, however formidable, were outweighed by the great 
potential of this windfall of young but seasoned volunteers. In order to 
take the strain we rushed through a new decentralised regional structure, 
took on a full-time secretary whom we were told the Trust could not afford, 
and set about educating and training the new intake. It worked, aided by 
such new tools as well-informed radio programmes, largely by James Fisher, 
explanatory volumes in the New Naturalist volumes, and eventually the 
pocket field-guides, the first of which by Roger Tory Peterson, Phil Hollom 
and Guy Mountfort was soon rivalling the Bible in its range of European 
translations and sales. 

However, as we were to find at the first post-war I.O.C. atUpsalain 1950, 
Britain was not alone in this upsurge. In Sweden itself the Sveriges Ornitho- 
giska Forening, founded only 5 years earlier, had already 1500 members and 
had built and successfully operated the famous Ottenby station for migra- 
tion research. France also was fast expanding its ornithological cadre, and 
had called into play the outstanding ornithological resources of the Camargue 
in terms both of conservation and research. 

About this time also the Netherlands were coming to the peak of an out- 
standing and many-sided contribution to the advance of ornithology, and 
among other smaller countries Switzerland also, as was manifest at the 
Basle I.O.C. in 1954, had made rapid strides. Space permits the mention of 
only one further country, Spain, which only got going about a decade ago, 
but bids fair to become one of the leading ornithological nations in Europe 
before the century ends. 

Since World War II the progress of national ornithological growth has 
enabled and encouraged closer institutional collaboration in such fields 
as bird-marking, reserve management techniques and lately, perhaps most 
conspicuously, in the rapid co-ordinated progress made in many countries 
with national Atlases of Breeding Birds, on the model of that produced by 
the British Trust for Ornithology in 1976. 

As European ornithology has progressed in its internal integration it 
has become able to take a larger part in the advance of biological studies 
generally, aided by the matchless quantity of detailed field data which it has 
been able to accumulate. Indeed that quantity has at times threatened to 
saturate the absorptive and digestive capacity of the users, and has challenged 
the capacity even of the numerous and expert Anglo-Dutch team currently 
working to present it in succinct form in the 7-volume Birds of the West 
Pale arc tic, or Birds of Europe , the Middle East and North Africa, as some prefer 
to call it. Just as Witherby's great Handbook, which it succeeds, was simul- 
taneously matched in Niethammer's Vogelkunde, so this new standard work 
in English is appearing in step with the Glutz Handbuch der Vogel Mittel- 
europas, providing more extended treatment for a more restricted field. 
Together, these works should provide European ornithologists with a 
firm base for renewed critical studies, and should for others give access to 
the riches of already acquired ornithological knowledge, which might 
otherwise have remained inaccessible to them. 

So much has been done and learned that to attempt to cover it in the 
space here available seems absurd. Any such account must be superficial, 
unbalanced, subjective and full of holes. Yet at least it brings together 
within easy compass some kind of summary of a period of growth, still 

47 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

within living memory, which has undoubtedly revolutionised ornithology. 
Perhaps most remarkable is the fact that in this period ornithology has success- 
fully reaffirmed its role as a science — perhaps the last science — in which 
amateurs as well as professionals can play a creative part, complementing 
one another's contributions and together giving it a base of matchless breadth 
and variety. In no country is this demonstrated more fully and convincingly 
than in Britain, and in no country either is the conservation of birds con- 
ducted on a firmer or more comprehensive scientific basis. Other European 
countries can also show equal achievements to be proud of in advancing 
modern European ornithology. Yet perhaps the aspect of which all can 
least be proud is the continuing inadequacy of efforts to combine the strength 
and to make good the weakness of the component parts of European 

Address: E. M. Nicholson, C.B., 13 Upper Cheyne Row, London SW3 5JW, England. 

Ornithological advances in Western Europe during the 

last 50 years 

by Einhard Besgel 

The development of ornithology in the last decades could not be better 
described than by the remark of E. Stresemann in his Ornithology from 
Aristotle to the Present: "... the barriers that protected our special field of 
knowledge were demolished on all sides. Ornithology has progressed with 
such breathtaking speed that nothing important can be achieved in it nowa- 
days except by keeping up with the pace, without losing sight of the whole." 

The amount of knowledge has increased exceedingly even if we only 
consider the history in Western Europe. With N. Tinbergen and K. Lorenz, 
ornithology even played a basic part in the award of a Nobel Prize in 1973. 
Comparative ethology has been one of the new fields in causal research on 
birds which has become important beyond the barriers of ornithology. 

Ethology as a separate scientific discipline started with studies on the 
behaviour of corvids, gulls or ducks by N. Tinbergen and K. Lorenz, the 
latter referring to earlier studies of O. Heinroth in the first decade of this 
century. Pioneer studies of E. Selous, J. S. Huxley or A. Kortland and some 
others should be mentioned here as well. Nowadays we find many aspects of 
bird behaviour studied by the aid of complicated techniques, such as the 
analysis of the great diversity of behaviour patterns, the description and 
analysis of bird songs and their function (e.g. E. A. Armstrong, W. H. 
Thorpe, G. Thielcke), or studying the way in which birds use food resources, 
construct their nests, act and react against enemies or competitors, etc. The 
result of such studies provides many new ideas for the understanding of 
how evolution works or how birds are adapted to their environment. 

In many fields of ornithology the pioneer work of single ingenious and 
enlightened persons has built the basis for modern research methods, 
which are characterized by the teamwork of scientists and ever increasing 
help from new techniques in both the laboratory and in the field. Ornithology 
in different countries and regions has been encouraged and developed, in fact, 
mainly by a few ornithologists who initiated a rich and thorough research, 
even in those regions with a poorly developed ornithological tradition. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 48 

In 1969 the Sociedad Espaftola de Ornitologia celebrated its 15 th anniver- 
sary in a special volume of the journal Ardeola, honouring in addition its 
first Secretary General, F. Bernis. Some years later Bernis edited the special 
volume of Ardeola honouring A. Valverde, another great pioneer of orni- 
thology and field zoology in Spain, while many fascinating papers on ecology 
and distribution of birds are published nowadays by young Spanish orni- 
thologists. In Italy the names of E. Moltoni and A. Toschi must be mentioned 
in regard to thorough long term systematic and faunistic research, still 
being continued. Inseparably linked with the development of ornithology 
are the names of N. Mayaud, H. Heim de Balsac, H. Jouard in France, the 
Schifferlis (now in the third generation!) in Switzerland, F. Salomonsen in 
Denmark and in the Arctic, F. Gudmundsson in Iceland, to mention only a 

From time to time single ornithologists have tried to give a compre- 
hensive synopsis of ornithological knowledge. At the beginning of the period 
covered here, E. Hartert prepared the ground for a modern view of intra- 
specific variation by the use of the trinominal system of nomenclature in his 
"Handbook" (1903-1922). Following in the tradition of Hartert's outstand- 
ing systematic work we come to Vaurie's Birds of the Palearctic Fauna (2 vols, 
1959, 1965) and to the List of Recent Ho/arctic Bird Species by K. H. Voous 
(Ibis 1973, 1977). With his Atlas of European Birds (i960) the latter stimulated, 
beyond just systematic surveys, modern research on the distribution, 
systematics, evolution and ecology of European birds. Among the most 
important publications listing the birds of Europe or the Western Palae- 
arctic, the successful modern field guides should not be forgotten starting 
with the first edition of the classic work of R. T. Peterson, G. Mountfort and 
P. A. D. Hollom in 1954, now translated into nearly all European languages 
and issued in many revised editions. 

The modern approach of a handbook covering not only systematics, 
description and distribution but also behaviour, breeding habits, ecology, 
etc. reached a first culmination in the 1930s when H. F. Witherby and 
G. Niethammer published their famous works on British and German birds 
respectively. The use of teamwork they practised has led to the voluminous 
projects of our days, such as the handbooks of the birds of Middle Europe 
or of the Western Palaearctic. In giving a comprehensive survey of orni- 
thology as a part of biological sciences, Stresemann's Aves (1927-1934) set 
a standard which has hardly been reached so far. Only once since has a 
similar attempt at a synopsis of all parts of ornithology in a single volume 
appeared in Europe - the excellent volume Oiseaux in the Traite de Zoologie 
edited by P. P. Grasse (in collaboration with J. Berlioz, N. Mayaud, A. 
Portmann and others). In a time of "ramification and interconnection" 
(E. Stresemann) an encyclopaedic summary of ornithology gave rise to the 
New Dictionary of Birds edited by Sir A. Landsborough Thomson in 1964, of 
which a new edition is now in preparation. 

If we look at the most important publications reflecting the work of 
ornithologists in Western Europe which have produced the biggest impact 
on ornithological thought we must not forget papers and books on single 
topics such as life histories of single species. British ornithologists were 
leading in this field for a long time beginning with D. Lack and his Life of 
the Robin in the early 40's. Meanwhile, similar comprehensive monographs 

49 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

of many species (e.g. White Stork, Swift, Alpine Swift, Blackbird, some 
waders, colonially breeding seabirds, etc.) have stimulated further experi- 
mental work to evaluate the factors which control population size and growth, 
so that some bird species have become classical examples to demonstrate 
problems of population ecology, predator-prey-systems, community struc- 
ture or evolution strategies, etc. both in theory and practice. 

Right up to modern times, ringing (banding) has remained a symbol of 
co-operation between amateurs and professionals; it has always been a 
fundamental motive power in ornithology, giving most important help in 
learning about bird migration. Migration of different populations rather than 
of different species focus the interest today, and a milestone in this field is the 
atlas of recoveries by G. Zink. The increasing number of ringed birds and 
recoveries as a result of improved catching techniques and well co-ordinated 
ringing programmes in many countries has led to international co-ordination 
in the Euring scheme. In addition, by using radar, bird migration now can 
be watched very exactly even during night and in bad weather conditions. 
In 1967 the first book on "Radar Ornithology" was written by E. Eastwood. 

Last but not least, modern techniques and a sophisticated statistical 
approach have penetrated a field of work originated by amateurs : population 
studies and bird census programmes, the former linked jointly with the 
names of D. Lack and H. N. Kluijver, with hole nesting song birds as the 
preferred "subjects". The tits (Paridae) around Oxford, Braunschweig, 
Steckby, as well as those in Belgium, in the Netherlands or Southwest 
Germany, to mention only some well known study areas, have provided 
generations of ornithologists with copious material for detailed studies, 
which are partially summarised in books by D. Lack, H. Lohrl and C. Perrins. 

Many problems are still unsolved. For some time the research in some fields 
seemed to reach a dead end, until new techniques for experimental work were 
available. This was the case in the study of bird flight, which now has got 
new impulses mainly by the work of H. Oehme, W. Nachtigall, G. Ruppell 
and others. The same holds true with the many attempts to explain the com- 
pass orientation of birds and how they navigate. The demonstration of the 
sun compass by G. Kramer in 1950, the successful work to prove the exist- 
ence of a magnetic compass used by birds by W. Merkel and especially by 
W. Wiltschko, or the discovery of the bird's ability to use stars for directional 
reference at night by F. Sauer, mark some well known steps of progress in 
this field in which today teams in several countries are working with great 
effort. Each new result raises new questions and so we are still far away from 
understanding sufficiently how birds navigate. 

The fascinating results of research on circannual and circadian rhythms in 
birds and on the internal clock which is controlled by external stimuli 
("Zeitgeber"), has animated the work on orientation, migration, moulting 
and breeding cycles as well. 

The advances in field studies and bird census programmes have removed 
nearly all blank spots on distribution maps within Western Europe. Further- 
more they have instigated many quantitative studies which enable us to 
calculate population trends in many species and to point out priorities for 
conservation management. With the modern atlas work, starting with the 
gigantic project of the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Britain and Ireland, followed by 
similar publications in France and Denmark and still others in progress in 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 50 

other countries, a new era of our knowledge of bird distribution has 

Atlas projects, monitoring and bird census programmes, migration 
studies, etc. have led to international working groups, committees or similar 
instruments of cooperation, which, besides the established international 
societies and councils (such as the ICBP and its many national sections), 
nowadays play an important role in ornithological research and bird pro- 
tection us well. May these activities not only advance ornithological research 
but also improve the chance of survival for birds in Western Europe. 

Address: Dr. Einhard Bezzel, 81 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Gsteigstrasse 43, Institut fur 
Vogelkunde, West Germany. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Some trends in ornithology in East European Countries 
during the last fifty years 

by Z. Bochenski 

In the last half-century noticeable progress was made in ornithology in 
East European countries despite the setback and, in some of them, even 
complete stoppage of scientific activities brought about by World War II. 
In addition to the journals Aquila (Budapest) and Berichte des Vereins 
Schlesischer Ornithologen (Breslau), which had been started some time before, 
new periodicals began to appear in the thirties. They are Moravsky Ornithology 
Ceskoslovensky Ornitholog (published at Prerov from 1934 to 1949), the con- 
tinuation of which is Zprdwy MOS; then Acta Ornithologica Mus. Z00L Polon. 
(Warsaw, since 1934); Sylvia (Praha, since 1936); Beitrage %ur Vogelkunde 
(Leipzig, since 1949); Larus (Zagreb, since 1947); Der Falke (Berlin, since 
1954); and Notatki Ornitologic^ne (Warsaw, later Wroclaw, since i960), not 
to mention irregularly appearing smaller ephemerals. 

Ornithological studies have also been published in other zoological 
periodicals, of which I shall name only some: Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia 
(Krakow); Pr^eglad Zoologic^ny (Wroclaw); Ekologia Polska (Warsaw); 
Zoologicke Listy (Brno) ; Biologia (Bratislava) ; Biologicke Prace (Bratislava) ; Verte- 
brata Hungarica (Budapest) ; Zoologische Abhandlungen . . . (Dresden) ; Travaux 
du Museum d' 'Hist. Nat. "Gr. Antipa" (Bucarest); Comunicari de Zoologie (Buca- 
rest) ; Tibiscus (Bucarest) ; and Bulletin de PInstitut de Zoologie et Musee (Sophia). 
Hundreds of papers appearing every year cover all the divisions of orni- 
thology, and their discussion would take far more room than provided for 
in a short note; therefore I shall confine myself to several chosen divisions 
with which I am more closely concerned, omitting the remaining ones 
entirely. I hope that none of the ornithologists working in these last fields 
will take this amiss. 

Faunistic studies which have been carried out in all the countries being dis- 
cussed, although with fluctuating intensity, in these last decades were undoubt- 
edly influenced by successive editions of the field guide by Peterson, Mountfort 
& Hollom and that by Makatsch (1969). The first major faunistic mono- 
graph that appeared in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (I omit all 
the German publications prior to 1945) was that of birds in Saxony by 
Hey der (1952). A monograph of the birds of Mecklenburg, edited by Klaafs 

51 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

& Stubs (1977), was issued 25 years later as the first volume of the Avifauna 
of the GDR, which unlike most works of this kind, is divided into volumes 
on the basis of regional divisions of the country and not on the basis of 
systematics. Here I must also mention the Atlas der Verbreitung Palaearkti- 
scher Vogel, which is the result of the collaboration of German and Soviet 
ornithologists, 7 parts of which have come out so far (1960-1978). 

In Poland, after the nineteenth-century work of Taczanowski (1882), the 
first attempt at a comprehensive avifauna was Sokolowski's (1936) popular- 
scientific book on the Passeriformes ; the outbreak of war however prevented 
the publication of its second volume. It was only towards the end of the 
fifties that the whole work, thoroughly revised, appeared (Sokolowski 1958). 
At nearly the same time a volume on birds was published in a series devoted 
to the freshwater fauna (Dunajewski 1938). Its author, concerned chiefly in 
systematics, died in 1944 and Ferens &Wasilewski (1977) prepared the present 
entirely new edition. Tomialojc's (1972) book is a critical recapitulation of the 
studies made up to that time and the basis for further studies. 

In Czechoslovakia, Ferianc (1964-65) wrote a monograph of the birds of 
Slovakia, now in its second revised edition (1977-79). A full survey of the 
birds of Bohemian Silesia was prepared by Hudec, Kondelka & Novotny 
(1966), while 2 volumes devoted to birds (a third and last is in preparation) 
edited by Hudec & Cerny 1972 and 1977), have appeared in the series 
Fauna CSSR. 

About 20 years ago the birds of Hungary were written up by a team under 
the direction of Szekassy (1958) as a part of the comprehensive work Fauna 
Hungariae. Somewhat earlier, Lintia (1954, 1955) published the second and 
third volumes of his work on the birds of Roumania. Unfortunately, the 
first volume, which was to deal with the Passeriformes, has not come out. 
In 1978 the first part of a work on birds, edited by Catuneanu (1978), was 
published as a part of a general survey of the fauna. 

The avifauna of the Balkans has not, as yet, received a full monograph. 
Two books concerning that area were issued in 1950; a rather sketchy work 
on the birds of Bulgaria by Patev (1950) and a monograph of the birds of 
Macedonia by Makatsch (1950), covering the southern part of Yugoslavia, 
Bulgaria and the northeastern part of Greece. Of more importance is the 
survey of the birds of the Balkan Peninsula by Matvejev (1976), the first 
volume of which contains data from Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and a large 
part of Yugoslavia. In addition to the books mentioned above, there are 
many faunistic papers concerning areas of various size, mostly of interest 
from the ornithological point of view, as well as contributions and notes. 

Knowledge of the changes occurring in the avifauna in the Pleistocene 
and Holocene during the climatic changes in Europe at that time permits us 
better to understand the genesis of the present-day fauna. Palaeornithological 
studies serve this purpose. The best tradition of such studies exists in 
Hungary, where Lambrecht's (1933) work, in which he summarizes the 
world achievements in this field, became the starting point of further 
intensive studies, and particularly in Hungary where Prof. Kretzoi and Prof. 
Janossy have published a great many papers containing the results of their 
investigations of material from Hungary, Roumania, Czechoslovakia, 
Poland and Austria. Janossy's (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979) works, in which he 
deals with the fossil birds of the Carpathian Basin, are unquestionably a 

{Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 52 

synthesis of these studies. In Yugoslavia fossil birds are the subjects of 
numerous papers by Prof. Malez and his co-workers. One of these, interesting 
from the zoogeographical point of view, is the work of Malez (1972) on the 
distribution of the cold-loving animals in the Pleistocene, in which, besides 
different mammalian species, he discusses also the genus JLagopus. In Poland 
Niezabitkowski's (1932) study of the Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus and Willow 
Grouse jL. lagopus- from Mamutowa Cave appeared nearly fifty years ago, 
and there has been nothing since till the results of my many years' 
investigation gathered in a monograph on the birds of the Younger 
Quaternary in Poland (Bochenski 1974). Since then many new fossil remains 
have been worked out, including those of birds of the Younger Quaternary 
from Bacho Kiro Cave in Bulgaria (Bochenski, in press). Some bird remains 
from the Upper Cretaceous of the Gobi Desert, collected during Polish- 
Mongolian palaeontological expeditions have been described by Elzanowski 
(1974, 1977) and others are being prepared. The results of these studies may 
be of considerable importance to the phylogenetic systematics of birds. Few 
papers have been published in Roumania, but they contain descriptions of 
various interesting new forms, as exemplified by Grigorescu & Kessler's 
(1977) work. 

Studies of bird migration and, in that connection, large scale mist-netting 
of birds, have also contributed to the knowledge of local avifauna. Bird 
ringing is carried on in all East European countries, and there are several 
wide scale investigations in progress. The most important one is the so- 
called "Operation Baltic", initiated in the vicinity of the Ornithological 
Station, Polish Academy of Sciences, at Gorki Wschodnie in Poland in 
i960, spreading in the following years to other points along the Baltic coast 
in Poland, the GDR and the Baltic Republics of the USSR. At these points, 
active during the spring and autumn migrations, tens of thousands of birds 
have been caught, ringed, measured and weighed. The work methods have 
been described in detail by Busse & Kania (1970a) and the observation points 
listed in annual reports (Busse & Kania 1970b, 1973 and others). The 
results of these studies have, as yet, been published in some dozens of notes 
and papers, of which one of the most important is Busse's (1976) on spring 
migration. Analogous investigations, though on a smaller scale, were 
carried out in the Karkonosze Mts. 1971-1973 (Dyrcz, in press) and, lately, 
in Bulgaria, in the valley of the River Struma (Ivanov, pers. comm.). 

Studies on spatial orientation of birds were started in Poland in the 
thirties and after the war continued at the Institute of Psychology and 
Animal Ethology, Jagiellonian University, under the direction of Prof. R. 
Wojtusiak. Their results presented in 1 5 papers, the last of which is still 
in press. Among other problems, they deal with the influence of terrestrial 
magnetism on the homing of Swallows Hirundo rustica (Wojtusiak, etaL 1978). 

In monographs of life-histories, without doubt GDR ornithologists have 
the greatest achievements and their work of this type has appeared, above all, 
in the series Die Neue Brehm-Bucherei. At first, in the fifties, they were 
popular and compilatory in style, but more recently both their volume and 
scientific value has increased. A few of them, taken at random, may be 
mentioned here by way of example, namely, the studies on larks by Patzold 
(1963, 1 971), on the Pygmy Owl Glaucidium passerinum by Schonn (1978) 
and on the Saker Falcon Fako cherrug by Baumgart (1978). In Hungary 

53 [Bu/l.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Kapoczy (1979) has monographed the White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias 
leucopterus and the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida and in Poland Mackowicz 
(1970) the W 7 ood Lark L,ullula arborea. In Czechoslovakia single species studies 
are, as a rule, divided among smaller publications, e.g. papers on the Greylag 
Goose Anser anser (Hudec 1971, 1973; Hudec & Formanek 1970; Hudec & 
Kux 1 97 1, 1972; Kux & Hudec 1970; and others). The life-histories of some 
ducks, thrushes and other birds have been treated in the same way. 

A related group of studies deals with breeding biology, including nest 
building and a wide range of papers on eggs. The periodical Beitrage %ur 
Fortpflan^ungsbiologie der Vogel, devoted specially to these problems, was 
published in Berlin until 1944; unfortunately no similar periodicals appear 
nowadays, though the number of papers on this subject remains fairly large. 
Nesting data are often card-indexed, e.g. at the Institute of Vertebrate 
Zoology, CSASc, at Brno and at the Institute of Systematic and Experimental 
Zoology, Polish Academy of Sciences, in Cracow. The most important such 
studies in Poland are those on the nesting of thrushes Turdus (Bochenski 
1968) and Corvidae (Kulczycki 1973). In Czechoslovakia more attention has 
been given to breeding biology than to nest building itself. Havlin's (1971) 
paper on the reed warblers Acrocephalus and Pellantova's (1975) on the Swift 
Apus apus may be mentioned here as examples. In Bulgaria Nankinov is 
engaged in a study of nesting and Ivanov collects oological material (pers. 
comm.). In the seventies several larger monographs were published in book 
form. Makatsch's (1975-77) 2-volume book on the birds of Europe is an 
outstanding work. In Poland Gotzman & Jablonski (1972) described nests 
and eggs, and in Czechoslovakia Pikula( 1 976) worked out methods of nest study. 

As I have already mentioned, I neglect many lines of ornithological 
research out of necessity, of which ecological studies, in respect of quantity, 
are second only to faunistic ones. However, I should mention J. Pinowski's 
participation in organising international investigations on granivorous birds 
and as editor of the International Studies on Sparrows, which has been issued in 
Warsaw since 1967; as well as co-editor of books (Kendeigh & Pinowski 
1973; Pinowski & Kendeigh 1977). I have also left out typical systematic, 
anatomical and physiological works and those pertaining to the psychology 
of birds, even though in each of these groups we can name many interesting 
items. The same is true of the achievements in the field of exotic studies, 
since various ornithologists from the East European countries have worked 
in all continents. 

References : 

Baumgart, W. 1978. Der Sakerfalke. Die Neue Brehm-Biicherei 514. A. Ziemsen Vcrlag: 

Wittenberg Lutherstadt. 
Bochenski, Z. 1968. Nesting of the European members of the genus Turdus Linnaeus 1758 

(Aves). Acta Zool. Cracov. 13 : 349-440. 

— 1974- The Birds of the Late Quaternary of Poland. Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe: 
Warsawa - Krakow. 

— (in press). Birds. In: Excavations in the Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria). 

Busse, P. 1976. The spring migration of birds at the east part of Polish Baltic coast. Opera- 
tion Baltic paper No. 27. Acta Zool. Cracov. 21: 121-262. 

Busse, P. & Kania, W. 1970a. Operation Baltic 1961-1967. Working methods. (Polish with 
English summ.) Acta Ornith. 12: 231-268. 

— 1970b. Operation Baltic 1970. Polish section. Reports on the field work. (Polish with 
English summ.) Notatki Orn. 11: 52-57. 

— 1973. Operation Baltic 1972. Polish section. Report on the field work. (Polish with 
English summ.) Notatki Orn. 14: 79-86. 

[Bu/l.B.O.C 1980: ioo(i)] 54 

Catuneanu, I. (coord.) 1978. Aves. Fauna Republkii Socialiste Romania. Vol. XV. Fasc. I. 
Editura Academiei R.S.R . : Bucuresti. 

Dunajewski, A. 1938. Ptaki {Aves). Fauna Slodkmvodna Polski. Warszawa. 

Dyrcz, A. (in press). Autumn migration of birds at Szrenica Pass, Karkonosze Mts., Poland. 
(Polish with English summ.) Acta Zool. Cracov. 25. 

Elzanowski, A. 1974. Preliminary note on the palaeognathous birds from the Upper Creta- 
ceous of Mongolia. Palaeont. Pol. 30: 103-109. 

— 1977- Skulls of Gobipteryx (Aves) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. Palaeont. 
Pol. 37: 153-165. 

Ferens, B. & Wasilewski, J. 1977. Ptaki {Aves). Fauna Slodkowodna Polski. 3. Panstwowe 

Wydawnictwo Naukowe : Warsawa-Poznan. 
Ferianc, O. 1964-1965.^/^0^*? Slovenska: Vtaky. 1,11 Vydav. Slov. Akad. Ved: Bratislava. 

— 1 977-1 979. Vtaky Slovenska, 1, 2. (2nd ed.). Veda: Bratislava. 
Gotzman, J. & Jablonski, B. 1972. Gnia^da nas^ych ptakoiv. PZWS: Warszawa. 
Grigorescu, D. & Kessler, E. 1977. The Middle Sarmatian avian fauna of South Dobrogea. 

Rev. Roum. de Geologie Geoph. et Geogr. 21: 93-108. 

Havlin, J. 1971. Nesting biology of the Great Reed Warbler and Reed Warbler on the 
Namestske rybniky Ponds (Czechoslovakia). Zool. Listy 20: 51-68. 

Heyder, R. 1952. Die Vogel des Landes Sachsen. Akademische Verlagsges.: Leipzig. 

Hudec, K. 1 97 1. The breeding environment of the Greylag Goose {Anser anser) in Czecho- 
slovakia. Zool. Listy. 20: 177-194. 

— 1973- Die Nahrung der Graugans, Anser anser, in Sudmahren. Zool. Listy. 22 : 41-58. 
Hudec, K. & Cerny, W. (ed.). 1972. Fauna CSSR. Ptaci 1. Academia: Praha. 

— 1977- Fauna CSRR. Ptaci 2. Academia: Praha. 

Hudec, K. & Formanek, J. 1970. Ringing results of the Greylag Goose {Anser anser) in 
Czechoslovakia. Zool. Listy. 19: 145-162. 

Hudec, K., Kondelka, D. & Novotny, I. 1966. Ptactvo Sle^ska. Opava. 

Hudec, K. & Kux, Z. 1971. The clutch size of the Greylag Goose {Anser anser) in Czecho- 
slovakia. Zool. Listy. 20: 365-376. 

— 1972. Passage migration of the Greylag Goose {Anser anser) through Southern 
Moravia. Zool. Listy. 21: 245-261. 

Janossy, D. 1976-79. Plio-Pleistocene bird remains from the Carpathian Basin. I. Galli- 

formes. 1. Tetraonidae. Aquila. 82: 13-36. (1977). II. Galliformes. 2. Phasianidae. 

Aquila. 83: 29-42. (1978). III. Strigiformes, Falconiformes, Caprimulgiformes, Apodi- 

formes. Aquila. 84: 9-36. (1979). IV. Anseriformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes, 

Passeriformes. Aquila. 85: n-39. 
Kapocsy, G. 1979. Weissbart- und Weissflugelsceschivalbe. Die Neue Brehm-Biicherei 516. A. 

Ziemsen Verlag : Wittenberg Lutherstadt. 
Kendeigh, S. C. & Pinowski, J. (ed.). 1973. Productivity, population dynamics and systematics 

of granivorous birds. PWN : Warzawa. 
Klafs, G. & Stubs, J. (ed.). 1977. Die Vogehvelt Mecklenburgs. VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag: 

Kulczycki, A. 1973. Nesting of the members of the Corvidae in Poland. Acta Zool. Cracov. 

18: 583-666. 
Kux, Z. & Hudec, K. 1970. Der Legebeginn bei der Graugans {Anser anser L.) in der 

Tschechoslowakei. Acta Musei Moraviae. 55: 233-246. 
Lambrecht, K. 1933. Handbuch der Palaeornithologie. Gebriider Borntraeger: Berlin. 
Lintia, D. 1954. Pasarile din R.P.R. vol. II (Cypseli - Accipiters). 1955. Vol. Ill (Gressores - 

Galli). Editura Academiei R.P.R. : Bucuresti. 
Mackowicz, R. 1970. Biology of the Woodlark Lullula arborea (Linnaeus 1758) (Aves) 

in the Rzepin Forest (Western Poland). Acta Zool. Cracov 15 : 61-160. 
Makatsch, W. 1950. Die Vogewelt Macedoniens. Akademische Verlagsges.: Leipzig. 

— 1969. Wir bestimmen die Vogel Europas. 2. Aufl. Neumann Verlag: Radebeul. 

— 1975-1977. Die Eier der Vogel Europas. 1-2. Neumann Verlag: Leipzig-Radebeul. 
Malez, M. 1972. Uber die Verbreitung Kaltzeitlicher Tiere im jungeren Pleistozan Stidost- 

Europas. (Croatian with German summ.). Rad 364. Zagreb. 
Matvejev, S. D. 1976. Survey oftheBalkan Peninsula Bird Fauna. (Serbian with English summ.). 

Niezabitowski, Lubicz E. 1932. Lagopus lagopus L. et Lagopus mutus Montin, ainsi que la 

faune qui les accompagne dans le quaternaire de la Pologne. Roc^nik Pol. Toiv. Geol. 

8: 179-192. 
Patev, P. 1950. The Brids 0/ Bulgaria (in Bulgarian). Sofia. 

55 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Patzold, R. 1963. Die Feldlerche. Die Neue Brehm-Bucherei 323. 1971. Heidelerche und 
Haubenlerche. Die Neue Brehm-Bucherei 440. A. Ziemsen Verlag : Wittenberg Luther- 

Pellantova, J. 1975. Breeding of the Swift {Apus apus Linn.). Zool. Listy. 24: 249-262. 

Pikula, J. 1976. Metodika vy^kumu hni^dni bionomie ptactva. Vlastivedny ustav: Prerov. 

Pinowski, J. & Kendeigh, S. C. (ed.). 1977. Granivorous birds in ecosystems. Cambridge Univ. 
Press : Cambridge. 

Schonn, S. 1978. Der Sperlingskau^. Die Neue Brehm-Biicherei 513. A. Ziemsen Verlag: 
Wittenberg Lutherstadt. 

Sokolowski, J. 1936. Ptaki ^iem polskich. 1. Poznan. 
— 1958. Ptaki ^iem polskich. 1-2. PWN: Warszawa. 

Szekessy, V. 1958. Aves Madarak. Fauna Hungariae 21-32. Akademiai Kiado: Budapest. 

Taczanowski, W. 1882. Ptaki krajowe. I-II. Krakow. 

Tomialojc, L. 1972. The Birds of Poland. (Polish with English summ.). PWN: Warszawa. 

Wojtusiak, R. J., Bochenski, Z., Dylewska, M. &c Gieszczykiewicz, J. 1978. Homing experi- 
ments on birds. Part XIII. The Influence of Terrestrial Magnetism on Homing Ability 
in the Swallow, Hirundo rustica L. Folia Biol. (Krakow). 26: 287-293. 

Address: Dr Zygmunt Bochenski, Institute of Systematic and Experimental Zoology, 
Pol.Ac.Sc, 31-016 Krakow, Slawkowska 17, Poland. 

Some of the results of ornithological investigations 
in the Soviet Union for the past fifty years 

Yu. A. Isakov 

I am grateful to the British Ornithologists' Club for their kind offer to 
familiarize British ornithologists with investigations being conducted in the 
Soviet Union in this field. This is not a simple task since I am to give in a 
concise form the results of investigations carried out on the vast territory 
of our country for the period of half a century. Survey of even the most 
essential ornithological research in this period would inevitably become a 
bare enumeration of themes and performers. Therefore I shall dwell only on 
a few aspects, with just a few examples, which I think of most interest. 

Russian and Soviet ornithology has an old history. Great and distinctive 
scientists such as N. A. Severtsov, M. A. Menzbier, P. P. Sushkin and others 
started that history and much of what follows has been carried out by their 
pupils and by pupils of their pupils. 

Avifaunistics occupies a special place in ornithological investigation, since 
it is a relevant base for the development of other scientific trends. The degree 
of faunistic knowledge of any country serves as an index of the general level 
of development of ornithology there. By the end of the first quarter of the 
twentieth century, many country regions had been investigated by orni- 
thologists and for some of them faunistic reviews had been published. 
However, M. A. Menzbier's monograph covered only the European part of 
the country, while many regions of Siberia, the Far East and Soviet Central 
Asia were still "blank". A species list for the whole country was still lacking. 

For the past 50 years practically the whole of the Soviet territory has been 
covered by ornithological investigations, with the "blanks" or regions on 
the periphery drawing most of the attentions of scientists. The appearance 
of a wide network of ornithological collectives based on institutes of the 
Academy of Sciences of the USSR and Academies in each Republic and of 
their regional scientific centres, of Universities and of other higher educa- 
tional institutions, as well as the creation of State nature reserves, have all 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 56 

played an essential role in the progress of faunistic investigations. Now there 
are local ornithological bodies throughout almost the whole country, from 
the Baltic Republics in the west to the Amur Territory in the east, from the 
Transcaucasian Area and Middle Asia in the south to the Taimir, Yakutia 
and Wrangel Island in the north. Now as a result, short-term expeditions are 
gradually replaced by long term local research schemes. 

As a consequence of the surveys carried out a great number of papers with 
avifaunistic content and a number of monographs have been published. 
Among the latter should be noted substantial reviews on the fauna of birds 
of the Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, Pamirs-Alai, Turkmenia, the Altai, 
Yakutia, the Ussuri Territory, the Kolyma Highlands, the Chukotsk peninsula 
and Wrangel Island. The European part of the country has attracted much 
less attention and monographic descriptions of the fauna have been published 
only for Lithuania, the Moscow Region and Moldavia. Publication for the 
first time of a complete definitive key to the birds of the whole territory of 
the USSR by Buturlin and by Dementiev (1935-1941) played an important 
role in the development of avifaunistics, about which the following figures 
are of interest. In the first list of birds of the USSR (Dementiev 1941) 672 
species were mentioned; in the checklist (Ivanov & Stegmann 1965) 723 
species; and in the latest catalogue (Ivanov 1976 and Stepanyan 1975, 1978) 
765 and 798 species are included respectively. The difference in totals of 
species in the latter two lists is due mainly to the fact that Stepanyan con- 
siders some subspecies from the list of Ivanov as full species. 

Ornithofaunistic investigations have not been limited merely to discover- 
ing the species composition in the Soviet Union; it has also tried to determine 
distribution, general and seasonal, regions of high and low density of species 
and their relationship with distinct habitats, as well as the historical derivation 
of regional faunas. Many of such investigations have been published in 
articles and monographs, and as a result B. K. Stegmann (1938) formulated 
the principle of ornithogeographical analysis of a territory on the basis of 
the singling out of types of the fauna. Using this principal he composed a 
map of the avifaunistic divisions of the extratropical part of Eurasia. 

A 6-volume monograph "Birds of the Soviet Union" (195 1-1954) prepared 
under the general editorship of G. P. Dementiev Sc N. A. Gladkov was an 
important synthesis of all the accumulated data. Translated into English it is 
well known to British ornithologists. It should be noted, however, that even 
while the monograph was in process of preparation, the newest data in 
taxonomy, distribution and the way of life of birds was accumulating so 
rapidly that the contents of separate volumes were substantially "obsolete" 
by the time of their publication. Now, 25 years after its appearance, the mono- 
graph does not represent the contemporary level of ornithological knowledge. 
Therefore, preparations have been started for publication of a new 10- 
volume monograph, differing from the preceding one not only in complete- 
ness of data but also in its lay-out. A great number of experts is involved in 
this work. 

Special note should also be made of the current editions of "Fauna of the 
USSR" being prepared by the Zoological Institute of the Academy of 
Sciences of the USSR. Eight volumes devoted to birds have already been 
published in this series. 

The basis for developing the study of functional morphology of birds was 

57 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

created in our country by the works of P. P. Sushkin. His followers, E. V. 
Kozlova, B. K. Stegmann and especially A. K. Yudin, continued investiga- 
tions in that direction and they significantly developed the importance of 
ecology for such research. Work of this sort begins from direct observations 
in nature, which help establish those peculiarities in the life histories of birds 
(obtaining food, making of nests, and so on) which require specific attention. 
In studying morphology questions arise which require additional ecological 
data, so that significant progress is only possible on the basis of thorough 
and diversified study of the life history of individual species. Comparatively 
few such works are being carried out. The book by A. S. Malchevsky "The 
Breeding Life of Song Birds'' (1959) can be considered as one of the most 

In this paper I can only dwell on one prime investigation, namely the book 
by K. A. Yudin (1965) on phylogenetics and the classification of the Charadrii- 
formes. Yudin attempts to represent their phylogenesis as an adaptive 
process occurring in relation to natural surroundings. It has been established 
that the Charadriiformes evolved as the result of leaving forests and of 
mastering open spaces. This occurred not later than the second half of the 
Cretaceous and adaptation to new diversified conditions led to differentiation 
in a previously rather homogeneous forest group in several directions 
simultaneously. Birds that mastered the banks of wetlands, meadows and 
swamps formed the initial predecessors of the present-day orders of Grui- 
formes and Charadriiformes. 

Formation of the Charadriiformes themselves was the result of adaptation 
of an early group to the sea coasts. This favoured development of a pro- 
patagial apparatus which allowed flight over extensive areas of water and 
also the development of large nasal glands of the para- and supra-orbital 
types. Other anatomical adaptations connected with variations in the manner 
of feeding and the evolution of apparatus for swimming were also important 
acquisitions at an early stage. Some were not capable of swallowing large 
food items, explaining why some of them, such as the Laro-Limicolae, 
evolved special morphological characters on this account. Formation of the 
Vanellinae is related to adaptation to live on meadows, of the Tringinae to 
mastering freshwater basins, of the Scolopacinae and Limosinae to adapting 
to grass swamps, while the sea coastal habitats brought to life the Calidridinae, 
many species of the Charadriinae and most of the Haemotopodinae, as well 
as some others. Inside the Laro-Limicolae group the Glareolidae gradually 
lost their adaptation to water, whereas for the other species of that group 
flight and swimming became the leading modes of search for their new prey, 
fish and water invertebrates, while the ancestors of the Alcidae began to 
master sea depths and the ancestors of the gulls adapted to life on coastal 
low- waters. 

Such an analytical approach to the formation of contemporary morpho- 
logical characters in the Charadriiformes attempted to explain the evolution 
of a large and complex order of birds, to construct its phylogenetic tree, to 
show relations with neighbouring orders and also to make its classification 
more precise. Works close to Yudin's were carried out by B. K. Stegmann 
(1958) for Columbidae and Pteroclidae, by E. V. Kozlova (1955, 1957) for 
Limicolae and by others. In some of the faunistic investigations (e.g. Kozlova 
1975), morphological data have been used to characterise ecological and 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 58 

faunistic groups of species composing the fauna of the territories under 

The study of bioacoustics has begun to develop only of late. Work is being 
conducted by a team guided by V. D. Ilyichev. They have proved that the 
organs of hearing of different species of birds are characterised by simplified 
structures giving a high functional effect and that adaptations optimising 
sound perception have especially been singled out. They have also established 
that the mosaic character of the appearance of ecological correlates occurring 
independently within various systematic groups is due to parallel develop- 
ment in species with similar ecological needs. V. D. Ilyichev has published 
"Bioacoustics of Birds" (1972) and "Acoustic Location by Birds" (1975). 

Investigations into the behaviour of birds are connected, in the first 
instance, with works by A. N. Promptov, a gifted naturalist and experi- 
mentor. His conception of stereotyped specific behaviour in birds differs 
substantially from that of K. Lorenz (1935, 1939)- Where Lorenz regards the 
behaviour of birds as innate stereotyped schemes of reaction starting auto- 
matically in definite biological situations, then Promptov (1940) considers 
behaviour as a complex of inherited evolutionally formed reactions con- 
nected with anatomic structures and of reactions acquired during the 
process of individual development. Promptov's (1956) conception regards 
the complex forms of behaviour of birds, usually referred to categories of 
"instincts", as biocomplexes which combine congenital and conditional 
reflexes. The former do not always take the leading role, but they serve as a 
basis for combining with the latter and so acquire biological adaptive 
content. Birds do not possess instinctive activities in the sense of a bonded 
system of innate reactions only. 

It has been experimentally shown that the nervous system of birds as it 
develops possesses most plasticity in the early fledgling stage. This period is of 
special importance for imitation learning as well as for re-inforcing stable 
coordinated systems which exert considerable influence upon the consequent 
life of a species. Specific locomotory coordination which is determined 
morphologically is not strengthened by imitation. Syringial and some other 
systems, being younger evolutionally, are more liable and are capable of 
re-inforcement under the influence of imprint and learning. 

An interesting example of imitational re-inforcement of sound communica- 
tion has been studied by K. A. & E. K. Viks. They found in the forest a 
male Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca which imitated the song of the Wood- 
Warbler Phjlloscopus sibilatrix, and it proved to be a bird which had been 
reared experimentally in the nest of P. sibllatrix. Experiments have been 
repeated on a larger scale by tape recording the songs of "fostered" birds, 
some of them for several years in succession. It has been established that 
during the second year of independent life only separate strophes characteris- 
tic of the foster species remain in their songs, and during the third year the 
song becomes stereotypical of its own species. Of special interest is the 
fact that in a few nests of F. hypoleuca discovered to have a song uncharacteris- 
tic of the species the females have also appeared to have been fostered in the 
nest of a Wood-Warbler. Another example of the same deep violation of a 
species' stereotyped behaviour has been noted in the Darwin Nature Reserve 
during experiments on rearing Sand Martins Riparia riparia in the nests of 
House Martins Delkhon urbica. During the first days after fledging, the fostered 

59 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

young flew back into the nest more than once and on returning the following 
spring again tried to occupy the House Martin's nests, but were driven away 
by the occupants. E .K. Viks (1965) buried in the earth nest boxes containing 
nests of Pied Flycatchers, leaving open only the entrance hole. In the follow- 
ing year many of the birds reared under such conditions occupied similar 
nest boxes. 

On the other hand, stereotyped nesting behaviour was used by ornitho- 
logists at the Darwin Nature Reserve to space out the distribution of many 
species of nesting birds. Having studied the specific requirements of breeding 
plots and the conditions needed for nest building, these were artificially 
created, sometimes within a habitat which was not characteristic of the species. 
In such a way a breeding colony of Grey Herons Ardea cinerea was founded 
near the laboratory of the Reserve, located about 20 km away from their 
main colony. Breeding colonies of Common Gulls ILarus canus and Common 
Terns Sterna hirundo have been established in pre-planned places, and 
Goldeneyes Bucephala clangula, Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus, White- 
throats Sylvia communis and some other species have been caused to breed in 
unlikely areas. The phenomena of "imprinting" and getting accustomed to a 
natural situation, characteristic of nestlings, were used for the creation of 
breeding populations in places new to the species; Greylag Geese Anser 
anser from the Volga delta were moved to the Rybinsk storage lake and Pied 
Flycatchers from the Moscow Region into the steppe oak groves of the 
Kursk Region (Isakov 1955, 1956, 1957). 

The application of banding and of other methods of marking birds has 
helped to work out the answers to two basic scientific problems. The first 
entails the degree of independence and constancy of large geographical 
populations of birds of various systematic groups. This problem was 
worked out most fully by T. P. Shevareva (1968, 1970) using as examples of 
seasonal distribution a number of species of ducks. Definite breeding, 
migration and wintering areas are typical of populations which do not possess 
clear cut morphological differences. Overlap with areas of neighbouring 
populations is only partial. This conception was used as a basis for planning 
international measures for the protection of migrating birds (Isakov 1967) 
and also for introducing actual measures to protect individual species, for 
instance the Snow Goose Anser caerulescens nesting on Wrangel Island and 
wintering in western regions of the USA (Kistchinski, Sladen). The second 
problem involved investigation of the structure and dynamics of "ele- 
mentary" (simple) local populations of birds (Isakov 1948, 1949). With some 
of the behavioural reactions of birds taken into account, experiments were 
made on the introduction of a number of the species mentioned above. 

Long term, highly difficult and labour-consuming investigations by the 
Latvian ornithologists conducted under the guidance of H. A. Mikhelsons 
provided an opening for a thorough study of the dynamics of local popula- 
tions of ducks at the experimental Lake Engures. During more than 15 
years they had banded over 1300 brooding females and over 23,000 of their 
one-day ducklings. For the first time such data provided an objective 
estimate of the composition and dynamics of local populations of the 
Shoveler Anas clypeata and Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula at the experimental 
lake. On the average long term aspect it seems that in any one year adult 
female Shovelers formerly banded on the lake comprise 45%, young birds 

[Bul/.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 60 

reared on this lake and nesting for the first time 44%, and females never 
seen before, possibly immigrants, 11%. The corresponding figures for the 
Tufted Duck were 70%, 21% and 9%. Further, they have found out that in 
the comparatively stable biological capacity of the lake in question, both the 
above species of ducks maintain their populations by homeostatic regulation. 
Increase or decrease in mortality of young ducks depends on the density of a 
population in a given breeding season and this serves as the main regulating 
mechanism. This situation is confirmed by a reliable negative correlation 
between the number of nesting Tufted Duck females on the lake or the 
number of Shoveler ducklings bred related to the total survival of young 
ducks at the end of the first calendar year. Together with shooting mortality, 
mortality of young ducks from other causes is of not insignificant importance. 
The latter causes increase noticeably during years of increased density. 
Banding data show that during such years fewer numbers of Tufted Duck 
reach their winter quarters than during years of average or even below 
average breeding numbers (Mikhelsons 1975, 1976). These observations 
are of great importance for resolving conservation problems, for the pro- 
tection of birds and for regulating shooting. 

There are many other aspects of scientific and practical activity related 
with the study, protection and the use of birds in our country which I am 
not able to touch on in this paper. 

References : 

Buturlin, S. A. & Dementiev, G. P. 1934-41. [A full key to the birds of the USSR. Vols. 

1-4] Moscow-Leningrad. (Russian) 
Dementiev, G. P. & Gladkov, N. A. (Eds.) 1951-54. [Birds of the Soviet Union. Vols. 

1-6] Moscow. (Russian) 
Isakov, Yu. A. 1948. Elementary populations of birds. Trudy Byuro koltsevaniya ptits. 

Vol. 7. Moscow. (Russian) 
Isakov, Yu. A. 1949. [The problem of elementary populations of birds. Izvestiya Acad. 

Nauk SSSR, series biol. I] (Russian) 
Isakov, Yu. A. 1953. [Greylag Goose introduction to Rybinsk reservoir] Bull. Mosk. 

Obshchestva ispyt. prirody, otd. biol. Vol. 60, 1. (Russian) 
Isakov, Yu. A. 1956. [On the possibility of change of certain forms of birds beahviour] 

Puti i metody ispolizovania ptits v borbe s vrednymi nasekomymi. Moscow. (Russian) 
Isakov, Yu. A. 1957. [Theory and practice of the migratory birds introduction] Trudy II 

Pribalt. ornitolog. konferentsyi. Moscow. (Russian) 
Isakov, J. A. 1967. The main geographical populations of waterfowl in the USSR and 

international measures on their protection and right use. Vile Congres desBiologistes du 

Gibier.Beograd-Ljublana, 196J. 
Ivanov, A. I. 1976. [Catalogue of birds of the USSR] Leningrad. (Russian) 
Ivanov, A. I. & Stegmann, B. K. 1964. [A short key to the birds of the USSR.] Moscow. 

Kozlova, E. V. 1955. [Desert Charadriiformes in Asia and their probable history] Trudy 

Zoolog. institut Academ. nauk SSSR. Vol. 21. (Russian) 
Kozlova, E. V. 1967. [Charadriiformes - Alcidae] Fauna SSSR. Ptitscy, Vol. II, iss. 3. 
Kozlova, E. V. 1961. [Charadriiformes - Limicolae] Fauna SSSR. Ptitsy, Vol. I, iss. I, 

part 2. (Russian) 
Kozlova, E. V. 1975. [The birds of zonal steppes and deserts of Central Asia] Trudy 

Zoolog. institut Acad ; nauk SSSR, Vol. 59. (Russian) 
Lorenz, K. 1935. Der Kumpan in der Umwelt des Vogels./. Orn. 83, H. 2, 3. 
Lorenz, K. 1939. Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung. Zool. An^eiger, suppl. 12. 
Malchevskyi, A. S. 1959. [Breeding life of songbirds] Leningrad University. (Russian) 
Mihelsons, H. A. 1975. [Results of the study of birds' ecology by banding method (a case 

study of Ducks)] Materialy II Vsesojuznoi konferentsii po migratsiyam ptits. (Russian) 
Mihelsons, H. A. 1976. Self-regulation in breeding populations of ducks. Proc. Int. 

confer, on the conserv. Wetlands and Waterfowl. Heiligenhafen. 

61 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Promptov, A. N. 1940. [Stereotyped behaviour and its formation in wild birds] Doklady 

Akad. Nauk SSSR, Vol. 27, 2. (Russian) 
Promptov, A. N. 1956. [Essays on the problem of biological adaptation of Passerine birds' 

behaviour] 1956. Moscow-Leningrad. (Russian) 
Shevareva, T. P. 1968. [Geographical populations of the Pintail in the USSR] Migratsii 

zhivotnych, 5. 1968. Leningrad. (Russian) 
Shevareva, T. 1970. Geographical distribution of the main dabbling duck populations in 

the USSR, and directions of their migrations. Proc. Int. Regional Meeting on conserv. 

of Waterfowl Resources, Leningrad 1968. 
Stegmann, B. K. 1938. Griindzuge der ornithogeographischen Gliederung des palaarkti- 

schen Gebietes. Fauna SSSR. Ptitsy, Vol. I, iss. 2. 
Stegmann, B. K. 1958. [Phylogenetic relationship between the Columbiformes and Ptero- 

cleformes and their position in the system of birds] Bullet. Mosk. obsh. ispytat. 

prirody, otd. biol. Vol. 68, 4. (Russian) 
Stepanyan, L. S. 1975-8. [Composition and distribution of the bird fauna in the USSR. 

Non-Passeriformes 1975 ; Passeriformes 1978] Moscow. (Russian) 
Viks, E. K. 1965. [Successful experiments in directing change in nestling Pied Flycatchers' 

sterotyped behaviour] Novosti ornitologii, Alma-Ata. (Russian) 
Yudin, K. A. 1965. [Phylogeny and classification of Charadriiformes] Fauna SSSR. Ptitsy, 

Vol. 2, iss. I, part I. (Russian) 

Address: Dr. Yu. A. Isakov, Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the 
USSR, Moscow. 

50 Years of Ornithology in North-west Africa 1930-1980 

by J. D. R. Vernon 

Northwest Africa, consisting basically of the Maghreb countries of Algeria, 
Morocco and Tunisia, is an important wintering area for many Palaearctic 
species. Within it's boundaries it includes substantial areas of the Central 
and Western Sahara, including most of Rio de Oro and Mauritania, which 
the bulk of West Palaearctic migrants tiaverse to winter in the tropics. 

Before 1930, much of the area was relatively unexplored. Though a good 
deal was known about the distribution of birds in Tunisia (Whitaker 1905, 
Bannerman 1927) and to some extent of those in Algeria (Malherbe 1855, 
Loche 1858, and others), virtually nothing was known of the Western 
Sahara and little about Morocco except for the coastal Atlantic fringe (Irby 
1875, Hartert 1901, 1926, Jourdain 1921, Lynes 1925, Meade-Waldo 1903, 
1905), since access inland was difficult, at least by Europeans, until important 
contributions to the ornithology of the Algerian and Tunisian Sahara were 
made by Heim de Balsac (1924). 

In the 1930's, Heim de Balsac published a series of papers on winter expedi- 
tions to southern Algeria and Morocco, including the discovery by Pivain of 
Dunn's Lark Eremalauda dunni in the Western Sahara. Later (1936) he pub- 
lished an important biography on the birds of the Maghreb and the Sahara, 
establishing for the first time that the Maghreb consisted of a Mediterranean 
Palaearctic fauna adjacent to a Saharan Ethiopian fauna and defining the 
ecological factors responsible for restricting the northern boundary of the 
desert to the 200 mm isohyet. Other important contributions were by 
Bouet (1938) on the migration routes of White Stork Ciconia ciconia in the 
Maghreb and an expedition to the Hoggar by Meinertzhagen (1934). For 
Morocco important studies included papers on the birds of Azilal (Lynes 
1933), on the High Atlas (Chaworth-Musters 1939) and a paper by Mein- 
ertzhagen (1940) on a journey in southwest Morocco and the Middle 
Atlas describing a number of new races of birds. 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 62 

In the i94o's, two expeditions by Heim de Balsac (1942, 1948) to study 
both the fauna and spring migration in southwest Morocco and the Western 
Sahara, found a less arid zone of desert, a 200 km wide belt of vegetation 
parallel to the Atlantic coast which produced a unique southern projection 
of the range of some Palaearctic species including Sardinian Warbler Sylvia 
melanocephala and Magpie Pica pica. The expeditions also included exploration 
of the Jbel Toubkal, High Atlas, and of the Rharb wetlands, where they 
rediscovered the Crested Coot Fulica cristata and African Marsh Owl Asio 
helveola. Some important observations were also made in Algeria and Tunisia 
by Payn (1948) and in the Western Sahara (Dekeyser & Villiers 1950), 
adding the Scaly Warbler Spiloptila clamens to the Palaearctic list. 

In the early 1950*8 in Tunisia an important discovery was the nesting of 
the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber on the Chott el Djerid (Domergue 
1950). In 195 5, Blanchet's Liste Oiseaux de Tunisie was published and supple- 
mented by a brief check list by Gouttenoire (1955). The systematic ringing 
of migrants at Cap Bon was started by ornithologists of the Societe des 
Sciences Naturelles de Tunisie (Deleuil 1954)- There were important studies 
by Castan (195 5 a, b) on observations and ringing of migrant birds at Gabes 
in southern Tunisia in the spring. 

In Morocco, the first regular reports on birds ringed and recovered were 
published by the Institute Scientifique Cherifien, Rabat (Panouse & Cortin 
195 1). Snow (1952) published an important contribution to the study of 
woodland birds in the northern Maghreb. Bannerman & Priestly (1952), 
Bannerman & Bannerman (1953) and Bierman (1957, 1959) undertook 
journeys by car over wide areas of Morocco, forerunners of similar journeys 
undertaken by many European ornithologists in the 1960's and i97o's. 
More important was the publication by Valverde (1959) of an ecological 
study of the Western Sahara (Rio de Oro). Brosset in the 195 o's published 
a series of papers (mainly in Alaudd) on his observations in northeast 
Morocco culminating in a special publication (1962) Ecologie des Oiseaux 
du Maroc Oriental. He showed that the desert fauna reached as far north as 
Berguent some 100km from the Mediterranean coast, confirming de Balsac's 
observations that the boundary of the desert in the north followed the 
200 mm isohyet. For the first time ever, a nest of the Crimson-winged Finch 
Rhodopechys sanguinea was found, in the Middle Atlas by Olier (1959). R. de 
Naurois (1959) traversed the Western Sahara and reached the Banc d'Arguin, 
Mauritania, discovering there the first nesting for Africa of the Royal Tern 
Sterna maxima. 

The i96o's saw the publication of Heim de Balsac & Mayaud's book Les 
Oiseaux de Nord-Ouest Afrique (1 962), closely followed by Les Oiseaux du Nord 
de I* Afrique by Etchecopar & Hue (1964), later ttanslated into an English 
version by Hollom (1967). Mention must also be made here of the review 
by Moreau (1961) on problems of Mediterranean-Sahara migration patterns. 
K. D. Smith published two important papers (1965, 1968). The first mainly 
covered winter distribution and autumn migration in Morocco; the second, 
covering the spring migration, included the results of expeditions to Defilia 
in southeast Morocco, and to Beni-Abbes in northwest Algeria to study 
migration across the Sahara, and provided evidence of broad front migration 
across the whole of Morocco as well as proof of a substantial trans-Saharan 
passage of some species of terns and waders. Brosset & Olier (1966) found 

6 3 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

an important colony of Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii on the Chafferine 
Islands and Robin (1966, 1968) discovered the nesting of Greater Flamingo 
and Slender-billed Gull Larus genei at Lac Iriki in southwest Morocco. 
Important studies were made on Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae on Mogador 
Is. (Vaughan 1961 a, b, Walter 1968) and White-rumped Swift Apus caffer 
was discovered in the High Atlas (Chapman 1969). Also in the 1960's in 
Tunisia, important contributions were made by Castan (1963), Lombard 
(1965), Jacoby (1968), Macklin (1969) and Jarry (1969). In Algeria, there 
were important contributions by Dupuy (1968, 1970) on the Algerian 
Sahara. Surveys were initiated in the 1960's on the wildfowl status of the 
Maghreb in winter by Blondel (1963) and Blondel & Blondel (1964), and 
later all important wetland sites were listed for the 'Project Mar' (Olney 
1965). These were followed in the 1970*5 by a series of regular winter counts 
of wildfowl on wetlands by the International Wildfowl Research Bureau 

The most important event in the 1970's was the discovery in Algeria by 
Ledant of a new species, the Kabylian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti (Burnier 1976, 
Vielliard 1976, 1978). Burnier (1977, 1979) also contributed some important 
records for Algeria from little known areas. 

There were important expeditions to West Morocco in 1971 and 1972 
to study coastal birds and wetlands, especially waders in late summer and 
autumn (Pienkowski 1972, 1975), followed by a series of publications by 
Pienkowski and his colleagues, showing the importance of the wetlands 
for Palaearctic waders on migration in autumn. The 1970's also saw further 
visits to the Banc d'Arguin with Petetin & Trotignon (1972) making the 
first census there of wintering waders. Further visits by Gandrille & 
Trotignon (1973), Duhautois et al. (1974), Knight & Dick (1975) and 
Trotignon (1976) showed how important the Banc d'Arguin was as a 
breeding area and as a wintering area for Palaearctic waders. Pineau & Giraud- 
Audine (1974, 1975, 1976) published important contributions to northwest 
Morocco on breeding, wintering and migration. Hirsch (1976, 1978), on 
behalf of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), surveyed colonies of Bald Ibis 
Geronticus eremita in Morocco, and showed there was a marked and con- 
tinuing decline in breeding numbers since the early 1940's. Other notable 
records in Morocco were of Fulvous Tree Duck Dendrocygna bicolor in 1976 
(Heinze 1979, Vielliard 1978a, and others) and of the Cape Shoveler Anas 
smithii (Duff 1979), the second record and first record respectively for the 
Palaearctic of these Ethiopian species. Heinze's (1979) contribution included 
the first proof of nesting of the Chanting Goshawk Melierax metabates in 
Morocco. There was also an important contribution on Passer in north- 
west Africa by Summers- Smith & Vernon (1972). 

The publication of Heinzel, Fitter & Parslow's (1972) guide on The 
Birds of Britain, Europe with North Africa and the Middle East following 
Etchecopar & Hue's earlier book, together with the advent of cheap pack- 
age tours, was a stimulus to many European ornithologists to visit the 
Maghreb, especially Tunisia and Morocco, leading to the publication of a 
Check List and Field Guide to the Birds of Tunisia (Thomsen & Jacobsen 
1979). A group of ornithologists in Algeria are also collating information 
on the birds of that country (see Malher 1978) and a B.O.U. check list for 
Morocco is envisaged in the near future (Vernon et al. in prep). 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 64 

With regard to bird protection in the Maghreb, regulations vary from 
country to country. The situation in Morocco is discussed by Deetjen (1970) 
and Mills (1975) and in Tunisia by Kacem (1976), but in practice laws are 
not always enforced. In Algeria there are proposals to establish a National 
Park in an important wetland area at El-Kala. Some reserves have been 
set up in Morocco, including the national parks of Toubkal, High Atlas, 
and Tazzeka, in the Rif. The World Wildlife Fund is hoping to establish 
reserves to include the most important colonies of Bald Ibis (Hirsch 1976). 
In Tunisia, a project to protect 5 wetland areas, some of international im- 
portance, has been drawn up in co-operation between the Tunisian 
authorities and the international conservation bodies (IWRB, IUCN and 
WWF). Ths Banc d'Arguin has recently been designated a National Park 
(Trotignon 1976). 

In the future, it is important that a more general awareness of conservation 
becomes appreciated in Northwest Africa and this can only be achieved 
through education of both young and old alike. Drainage of wetlands is, 
as always, a future threat, but of equal importance is the conservation of the 
indiginous cedar, green oak and cork oak woodland and the areas of endemic 
Argan woodland in southwest Morocco, still rich in bird species including 
Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle Aquila rapax, Black-winged Kite Elanus 
caeruleus, and Fulvous Babbler Turdoides fulvus, though much is being cleared 
for agriculture. The conservation of the Middle Atlas lakes in Morocco 
as nesting and wintering areas for wildfowl, including concentrations of 
Crested Coot, cannot be overestimated. The sub-desert areas around the 
oases of southern Algeria, Tunisia and along the river valleys of south 
Morocco, should also be conserved as they are especially rich in desert 
species and the oases themselves offer important feeding areas for nesting 
and migrant birds and for some wintering Palaearctic warblers. 

To sum up, during the last 50 years our knowledge on the distribution 
and migration of birds in Northwest Africa has been considerably extended, 
but much still needs to be done. Most of our knowledge of the Western 
Sahara is still based on the spring expeditions by Heim de Balsac and Valverde 
20-30 years ago and little is known for the autumn and winter periods. Few 
ornithologists have studied specific areas or species and many areas inland 
remain relatively unexplored. 

In conclusion, this brief review would not have been possible without 
reference to Heim de Balsac & Mayaud's Oiseaux de Nord-Ouest Afrique 
and to Etchecopar & Hue's Birds of North Africa. Of equal value was Heim 
de Balsac's paper (1959) 'Ornithologie Francaise en Afrique du Nord' which 
reviewed the situation in northwest Africa up to 1959. Whilst putting 
the final touch to this paper (December 1979), it was sad to learn of the 
death of Heim de Balsac who contributed so much to the ornithology of 
northwest Africa. 


Note. All references before 1962 are excluded but may be found listed in Heim de Balsac & 

Mayaud (1962). 
Blondel, J. Situation de la sauvagine dans le Maghreb. In Proc. First Eur. Meeting on 

Wildfowl Conservation, St. Andrews, 1963. 
Blondel, J. & Blondel, C. 1964. Remarques sur l'hivernage des limicoles et autres oiseaux 

aquatiques an Maroc (Janvier 1964). Alauda 32: 250-279. 

65 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Brosset, A. 1962. Ecologie des Oiseaux du Maroc Oriental. Travaux de rinst. Sci. Cherifien. 

Ser. Zool. No. 22. 
Brosset, A. & Olier, A. 1966. Les lies Chafferines, lieu de reproduction d'une importante 

colonie de Goelands d'Audouin, Larus audouini. Alauda 34: 187-190. 
Burnier, E. 1976. Une nouvelle espece de l'avifauna palaeartique: la Sitelle kabyle. Sitta 

ledanti. Nos Ois. 33: 337-340. 
Burnier, E. 1978. Notes sur l'ornithologie Algerienne. Alauda 47: 93-102. 
Castan, R. 1963. Notes de Tunisie (region de Gabes). Alauda 31: 294-303. 
Chapman, K. A. 1969. White-rumped Swifts in Morocco. Brit. Birds 62: 337-339. 
Deetjen, H. 1970. Zur Situation des Vogelschutzes in Marokko. Internat. Rat. fur Vogel- 

scbut% 10: 65-68. 
Dupuy, A. 1968. La migration des Laro-Limicoles au Sahara Algerien. Alauda 36: 27-35. 
Dupuy, A. 1970. Donnees sur les migrations transsahariennes du printemps 1966. Alauda 

38: 278-285. 
Duff, A. G. 1979. Souchets du Cap Anas smithi au Maroc. Alauda 47: 216-217. 
Duhautois, L., Charmoy, M.-C. & F., Reyjal, D. & Trotignon, J. 1974. Seconde prospection 

post-estivale au Banc d'Arguin (Mauritanie). Alauda 42: 313-332. 
Etchecopar, R. D. & Hue, F. 1964. Les Oiseaux du Nord de i Afrique. Paris. 19 67. The Birds 

of North Africa. Edinburgh & London. 
Gandrille, G. & Trotignon, J. 1973. Prospection post-estivale au Banc d'Arguin (Mauri- 
tanie). Alauda 41: 129-159. 
Heim de Balsac, H. & Mayaud, N. 1962. Les Oiseaux du Nord-Ouest de V 'Afrique. Paris. 
Heim de Balsac, H. 1959. L'ornithologie francaise en Afrique du Nord. Oiseau 29: 308-330, 

Heinze, J. 1979. Contributo all'Avifauna del Marocco Centrale e Meridionale. Gli Uccelli 

D 'Italia. 120-143. 
Heinzel, H., Fitter, R., & Parslow, J. 1972. The Birds of Britain and Europe with North 

Africa and the Middle East. London. 
Hirsch, U. 1976. Beobachtungen am Waldrapp Geronticus eremita in Marokko und Versuch 

zur Bestimmung der Alterszusammensetzung von Brutkolonien. Orn. Beob. 73: 225-235 . 
Hirsch, U. 1978. Bald Ibis Conservation. BTO News, 96: 2. 
Jarry, G. 1969. Notes sur les oiseaux nicheurs de Tunisie. Oiseau 39: 11 2-1 20. 
Jacoby, M. 1968. Tunisian Expedition 1968. Rept. Brathay Exploration Group, England. 
Kacem, S. 1976. In International Waterfowl Research Bureau Bull. 41/42: 44-45. 
Knight, P. J. & Dick, W. J. A. 1975. Recensement de limicoles au Banc d'Arguin (Mauri- 
tanie). Alauda 43: 363-385. 
Lombard, A. L. 1965. Notes sur les oiseaux de Tunisie. Alauda 33: 1-33, 206-235. 
Macklin, P. 1969. Tunisia Expedition 1969 (bird notes by K. Rigby). Brathay Exploration 

Group, Field Study report 8. 
Malher, F. 1978. Avifaune d'Algerie. Alauda 46: 275. 
Moreau, R. E. 1961. Problems of Mediterranean-Saharan migration. Ibis 103a: 373-427. 

Mills, S. 1975. Cyclostyled report to Winston Churchill Memorial Trust on visit to Morocco 


Olney, P. (ed.) 1965. Project Mar. List of European and North African wetlands of inter- 
national importance. IUCN Pubn. New Ser. 5. 

Petetin, M. & Trotignon, J. 1972. Prospection hivernale au Banc d'Arguin (Mauritanie). 
Alauda 40: 195-213. 

Pienkowski, M. W. (ed.) 1972. University of East Anglia Expedition to Morocco 1971. 

Pienkowski, M. W. (ed.) 1975. Studies on coastal birds and wetlands in Morocco 1972. 

Pineau, J. & Giraud-Audine, M. 1974. Notes sur les migrateurs traversant l'extreme 
nord-ouest du Maroc. Alauda 42: 159-188. 

Pineau, J. & Giraud-Audine, M. 1975. Notes complementaires sur les migrations dans 
l'extreme Nord-Ouest du Maroc. Alauda 43: 1 35-141. 

Pineau, J. & Giraud-Audine, M. 1976. Notes sur les oiseaux hivernant dans extreme 
Nord-Ouest du Maroc et sur leurs mouvements. Alauda 44: 47-75. 

Pineau, J. & Giraud-Audine, M. 1977. Notes sur les oiseaux nicheurs de l'extreme Nord- 
Ouest du Maroc: reproduction et mouvements. Alauda 45: 75-103. 

Robin, P. 1966. Nidifications sur l'lriki daya temporaire du Sud-marocain, en 1965. Alauda 
34: 81-101. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 66 

Robin, P. 1968. L'avifaune de l'Iriki (sud-Marocain). Alauda 36: 237-253. 

Smith, K. D. 1965. On the birds of Morocco. Ibis 107: 493-526. 

Smith, K. D. 1968. Spring migration through southeast Morocco. Ibis no: 452-492. 

Summers-Smith, D. & Vernon, J. D. R. 1972. The distribution of Passer in northwest 
Africa. Ibis 114: 259-262. 

Thomsen, P. & Jacobsen, P. 1979. The Birds of Tunisia. An annotated check list and a field 
guide to bird watching. Copenhagen. 

Trotignon, J. 1976. La nidification sur le Banc d'Arguin (Mauritanie) au Printemps 1974. 
Alauda 44: 1 19-133. 

Vielliard, J. 1976. La Sitelle kabyle Alauda 44: 351-352. 

Vielliard, J. 1978a. Le Dendrocygne fauve Dendrocygna bicolor dans le Palearctique. Alauda 
46: 178-180. 

Vielliard, J. 1978b. Le Djebel Babor et sa Sittelle, Sitta ledanti Vielliard 1976. Alauda 46: 

Walter, H. 1968. Zur Abhangigkeit des Eleonorenfalken (Falco eleonorae) vom mediter- 
ranean Vogelzug. /. Orn. 109: 323-365. 

Address: J. D. R. Vernon, 55 Wolfridge Ride, Alveston, Bristol BS12 2PR, England. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Fifty years of ornithology in West Africa 

by Gerard J. Morel 

The publication in 1930 of the Sy sterna Avium Ethiopicarum by W. L. Sclater 
marked the end of basic preliminary exploration in Africa. Since then, 
knowledge has been advanced by various faunistic works, resulting in 
progress by leaps and bounds. 

The Handbook of the Birds of West Africa by G. L. Bates (1930) was the 
first work available to the general public. The same year, D. A. Bannerman 
started the publication, occupying 21 years, of his 8 volumes of the Birds of 
Tropical West Africa. West African ornithologists thus had the immense 
privilege of this monumental work at their disposal prior to the appearance 
in 1953 of the abridged, easily transportable, version in 2 volumes. 

In the last 50 years various works of local interest have appeared: Faune 
du Centre Africain Francais by R. Malbrant (1936, 1952); Aves del Sahara 
Espanol by J. A. Valverde (1958); The Birds of French Cameroon by A. I. Good 
(1952-53). Then, of works dealing with the whole of the west: Oiseaux de 
I Afrique Tropicale by G. Bouet (1955, 1961, not completed); Les Oiseaux de 
rOuest Africain by P. L. Dekeyser & J. H. Derivot (1966-68). In 1970 and 
1973 C. W. Mackworth-Praed & C. H. B. Grant, with their 2 volumes 
devoted to West Africa, completed their masterly series the African Handbook 
of Birds, started in 1952 and covering the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. 
Finally, there appeared in 1977 the Field Guide to the Birds of West Africa by 
W. Serle, G. J. Morel & W. Hartwig. All these works owe their existence 
in the first place to ornithological explorers who awaited neither the opening 
of roads nor of railways, even less of air routes or the benefits of modern 
medicine, to embark on their activities. It is impossible to cite all their 
names. However, one may mention: G. Bouet (French Congo, Liberia, 
Cameroun); K. M. Guichard (Mauritania, French Sudan); H. Heim de 
Balsac (Mauritania); L. Blancou (Central Africa); W. Serle (Sierra Leone, 
Cameroun, Nigeria); P. L. Dekeyser (Senegal). 

In this general account, the Congo merits a special place. It comprises an 
enormous area, faunistically varied and rich, and has been studied with 

67 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

singular devotion. The number of ornithologists who have worked in this 
area is impressive. Among them, J. P. Chapin stands out as the last presti- 
gious explorer of our epoch. He collected thousands of skins, described 
several dozen forms, and produced the 4 volumes The Birds of the Belgian 
Congo (1932-54). It was he who made the sensational discovery of Afropavo 
congensis. H. Schouteden completed this work by organising the exploration 
of those areas which Chapin could not visit. He published (1948-60) De 
Voge/s van Belgisch Congo en van Ruanda-Urundi and (195 4-60) Faune du Congo Beige 
et du Ruanda-Urundi. In these days this region is still being actively studied, 
especially by A. Prigogine. 

The Second World War put a curb on research, and then, in the 1960's, 
most of the colonies gained independence. It was during this time that 
ornithology passed into the modern era. What are the signs of this ? 

(a) Pioneering exploration is finished (with great respect, however, to our 
friend R. de Naurois, student of difficult islands!). 

(b) African universities (for example, those of Senegal, Cameroun, Nigeria) 
include ornithology in their curricula. 

(c) Permanent stations, still few in number, have research programmes, 
welcoming guest workers, and serving as centres for documentation: thus 
Richard-Toll, in the Sahelian zone, on the River Senegal; Makokou, in 
equatorial forest in Gabon. In Nigeria, the Ahmadu Bello University is also 
an active centre. 

(d) Two ornithological societies have seen the light of day. In 1964 the 
Nigerian Ornithologists' Society was born, under the impetus of J. H. 
Elgood, R. E. Sharland and C. H. Fry. In 1978 it became the West African 
Ornithological Society, with the bilingual Malimbus as its publication 
medium. Also, in 1974, The Gambia Ornithological Society was founded. 

(e) Little by little, in ornithological reviews, biological articles replace 
accounts of travel and lists of species. To be sure, the realisation of con- 
ducting complex studies in West Africa is still limited, above all by an 
insufficiency of suitable bases and by a shortage of research workers, 
especially resident ones. Nevertheless, study of the ploceid Que lea quelea, 
on account of its economic importance, has been pressed forward almost to 
the same extent as that of Parus major in Europe; indeed, this granivorous 
species, subject of several symposia, is of importance in itself, and the 
resultant knowledge gives cause for reflection. 

(f) Finally, West Africa, although sadly behind compared to the rest of 
the continent, has its ornithological tourists, indiscreet (but not invariably!), 
and loaded with binoculars and cameras (always!). Pelicans and other 
spectacular species which until now had only to contend with climatic 
hazards and predators, must henceforth adapt to this new factor. Can they 
find the necessary resistance? One must sincerely hope so, for tourism, 
which it is so easy to deride, plays a big role in the preservation of the rich 
African fauna. Tourism is one of the surest supports of national parks, 
themselves a buttress against agricultural development. Senegal (with its 
ardent director, A. R. Dupuy) and Mauritania have set aside parks devoted 
especially to birds. 

What is one to think of the years ahead? The least one can say is that 
there remains much to be done. Nevertheless, those who collect lists of 
species seen can reassure themselves; even in those countries which are 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 68 

"well trodden" it is still possible, in the course of a week, to add half-a- 
dozen species to the local check list, if indeed such exists, since for the most 
part such lists have yet to be compiled. Thus in Mauritania ornithologists 
have so far only traversed the one north-south route! 

West Africa, including Zaire, contains an immense range of habitats, 
from the desert of the southern edge of the Sahara and the Sahel (wrongly 
reputed to be ecologically simple) to high forest (rightly reputed as complex), 
not forgetting montane habitats. The large fluvial river basins of the 
Senegal and Niger are rich in waterfowl, and present many opportunities 
for study which should be grasped soon before these areas are upset by 
reclamation in the name of man's economic needs. 

Biological research, even that which is relatively slight, can bring real 
satisfaction to the investigator, as the following examples of some results 
or subjects of research make plain: 

Until recently it was believed that the number of Palaearctic species using 
a western (African) route was less than those using an eastern. In fact, this 
apparent difference was due to a lack of observers in the west (R. E. Moreau, 
F. Roux, G. J. Morel). 

The fundamental differences of function between the Sahelian savanna 
and the forest - both in the tropics - have begun to be appreciated. The 
savanna is characterised by an instability, both seasonal and interannual, 
resulting in a chaotic situation, and periodic swarming, as in Que lea (P. 
Ward). The forest is more stable, and what is generally accepted as more 
typically tropical. In savanna, the study of the role of migrants may still pro- 
duce some surprises, and it may be necessary to revise classical notions of 
the past in regard to ecological niches and competition. In equatorial forest, 
in which the study of populations is so difficult, new data are being amassed 
(A. Brosset and C. Erard in Gabon). 

The development of agriculture and the battle against granivorous species 
constitute a serious menace to the avifauna, especially in the Sahelian region. 
These dangers, which it does not suffice merely to oppose, since every 
country has an obligation to improve its quality of life, can be better evalu- 
ated and controlled if ornithologists do not shrink from studying species of 
economic importance. 

Acknowledgement: I am grateful to C. W. Benson for the necessary translation into English. 
Address: Dr. Gerard J. Morel, Station d'Ornithologie, ORSTOM, Richard-Toll, Senegal. 
© British Ornithologists' Club 

Ornithological progress in Eastern Africa during the 

past 50 years 

by P. L. Brit ton 

The early ornithology of eastern Africa was well-documented by various 
authors, in particular Dr. A. Reichenow and Dr. V. G. L. van Someren. 
This tradition of definitive recording of collected material culminated (for 
Uganda and Kenya) in the publication (1938) of a prestigious 3 volume work 
by Sir F. J. Jackson (edited and completed by W. L. Sclater over a period 
of several years). His extensive bibliography (with notes) included van 
Someren (1932) and Granvik (1934), but excluded some important later 

69 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

works, notably Friedmann & Loveridge (1937). With few colour illustra- 
tions and no distribution maps, Jackson (1938) is far removed from the 
modern 'bird-book', for which eastern Africa had to wait another 14 years, 
but this meticulous work enabled the discerning to identify many of the 
birds of this important region. Bowen (1926, 193 1) provided definitive notes 
on the birds of the Sudan, and a number of papers appeared on the birds of 
Tanzania (then Tanganyika, Zanzibar and Pemba) during the 1930s, notably 
those by R. E. Moreau, R. H. W. Pakenham, W. L. Sclater and J. H. 
Vaughan in Ibis (1930-37), and elsewhere by Bangs & Loveridge (1933) and 
Lynes (1934). The 4 volumes of Archer & Godman (1937-61) cover northern 
Somalia, while the never completed work of Moltoni & Ruscone (1940-44) 
deals with the remainder of Somalia. 

As residents of Tanzania, R. E. Moreau, R. H. W. Pakenham, N. R. 
Fuggles-Couchman and Sir H. F. I. Elliott published a number of important 
papers during the 1940s and 1950s (mainly in Ibis and Proc. Zool. Soc, 
London), a tradition which continued until the independence era, including 
papers by L. A. Haldane and D. K. Thomas in Tanganyika Notes <& Records. 
In contrast, the literature from countries to the north is curiously scant 
for these two decades, though it includes van Someren's 'Days with Birds' 
(Fieldiana, Zool. 38), a number of papers by K. D. Smith on Eritrea 
(mainly in Ibis) and a number of papers by Dr. L. H. Brown (mainly on 
eagles in Ibis). Indeed, Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan have continued 
to suffer from a dearth of definitive review literature to the present time, 
while the record for Tanzania and Ethiopia is far from complete. 

After 18 years of compilation, and the publication of numerous papers 
in Ibis and the Bulletin, Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952, 1955) provided 
eastern Africa (including Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Mozambique) 
with its first comprehensive 'bird-book'. This achievement, together with 
the appearance of Cave & Macdonald (1955) on the birds of the Sudan, 
allowed resident and visiting ornithologists to identify the birds of this 
important region with relative ease for the first time. It is remarkable that 
these two works and Jackson (1938) remain essential tools for both the 
museum worker and the field naturalist despite, the availability of field guides 
(Williams 1963, 1967). 

The rich avifauna and diverse biomes of eastern Africa attract numerous 
visitors, both as expedition members and as amateurs on holiday, yet most 
of the impetus in the development of ornithology in this region has come 
from local institutions and residents. In the main, birds have been sadly 
neglected by research bodies in the region's various National Parks and 
academic institutions, so that the dominant position enjoyed by the East 
Africa Natural History Society (EANHS) and the National (formerly 
Coryndon) Museum in collating ornithological research has never been 
seriously challenged. The relationship between these two Nairobi-based 
institutions is essentially informal, each with its own particular interests 
and emphasis, though they share a library and journal. Perhaps because of 
this relationship, eastern Africa lacks the conflict between collectors and 
field naturalists so evident in some parts of the world, and a blend of careful 
field work and museum study has characterised its ornithology in recent 
decades, in particular in assessing problems of speciation. 

As Curator of Ornithology in Nairobi during the 1950s and early 19608^ 

[Bitll.B.O.C. 1980:100(1)] 70 

and later as a wildlife consultant, J. G. Williams encouraged East African 
residents to collect specimens of particular interest, as well as instigating 
and assisting with a number of expeditions to little-worked areas. Williams 
published a number of short papers, including descriptions of several races, 
while Mirajra wiiliamsi and a number of races were named for him. Un- 
fortunately, his outstanding collection of sunbirds (Nectariniidae) and many 
other important collections made during this period were not retained in 
eastern Africa and neither were the 24,000 specimens collected earlier by 
V. G. L. van Someren, most of which are in the USA {Ibis 119: 221). Many 
of the specimens housed overseas have never been properly documented. 
There is, however, a fine series of papers on collections made for the Los 
Angeles County Museum, mainly from the forests of western Uganda (see, 
in particular, Friedmann 1966), while reports have appeared on a number of 
collections made for various other museums in the USA (e.g. Ripley & 
Heinrich 1966, Ripley & Bond 1971). These expedition reports and other 
papers include descriptions of a number of new races and 2 species (Otus 
ireneae, Sylvietta philippae). The extraordinary collection of about 9000 
skins from Tanzania amassed by Thorkild Anderson between 1947 and 1967 
has not yet been fully documented (Britton 1978b); most are housed in 
western Europe. 

For political and financial reasons the role of the more recent curators in 
Nairobi (A. D. Forbes-Watson, G. R. Cunningham-van Someren) has been 
more parochial, consolidating the existing collections and providing assist- 
ance to an increasing flow of visitors. It has not been easy for overseas 
workers to obtain permission to collect in most parts of the region during 
the 1970s, but it is comparatively easy to do so in the Sudan. The Sudanese 
civil war hindered ornithological investigations in the 1960s and early 
1970s, but significant finds have been made in recent years. M. A. Traylor 
collected a number of interesting specimens near the border with Zaire, 
many of them new for the Sudan, while the avifaunal survey of the South 
Sudan by G. Nikolaus, including the selective collecting of skins for the 
Bonn and Stuttgart museums in West Germany, has resulted in a number of 
interesting records. These include remarkable extensions of known range 
for Turdus fischeri and Clytospi^a dybowskii and a number of specimens 
requiring description as new races, notably of Eminia kpida, Chlorocichla 
laetissima and Serinus citrinelloides from the Imatong Mountains. In recent 
years Dr. J. S. Ash has amassed a great deal of mainly unpublished data 
from Ethiopia and Somalia, including many hitherto unrecorded species 
and one new species (Ash 1979). On the whole, however, the avifauna of 
eastern Africa is now well-known, and unlikely to yield many surprises or 
much further material requiring description. Thus, emphasis and techniques 
have changed in recent years, with collecting playing a comparatively 
unimportant part in most research programmes. 

In association with the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University, 
M. E. W. North pioneered a serious study of bird vocalizations in the 1950s 
and early 1960s, while an East African ringing scheme had begun as early 
as 1946. The EANHS ringing scheme started in a small way and did not 
begin to make a significant impact until the early 1960s. Since taking over 
as Ringing Organizer in 1966, G. C. Backhurst has greatly improved the 
scheme, maintaining very high standards. The scheme controls ringing in 

71 [Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(1)] 

East Africa and the South Sudan, concentrating on Palaearctic migrants (for 
details see Backhurst 1977), though Ethiopian species are ringed in numbers 
too, notably for census and moult studies (see Zimmerman 1972 and Britton 
1978a). The annual ringing of thousands of Palaearctic night migrants at 
Ngulia Lodge in eastern Kenya (Pearson & Backhurst 1976) is particularly 
important, accounting for 50% or more of the annual ringing total in recent 
years. The Nest Record Scheme of the EANHS, operated by Mrs. H. A. 
Britton since its inception in 1969, collects and collates breeding data from 
East Africa, including the extensive egg collections of Capt. C. R. S. Pitman, 
Dr. V. G. L. van Someren and Sir C. F. Belcher, and all published material, 
as well as current data submitted on printed cards. A separate ringing 
scheme operates in Ethiopia (see Ash 1978). 

With its well-developed infrastructure and abundant opportunity, Kenya 
is a favourite for post-graduate students and other research workers from 
overseas. A number of long-term behavioural and ecological projects are 
currently in progress (detailed in Scopus 2(5)). Recent avifaunal surveys have 
emphasised ecology rather than systematics, notably for Kidepo Valley 
National Park in northern Uganda (Elliott 1972), Arusha National Park in 
northeastern Tanzania (Beesley 1972), the East Usambara Mountains in 
northeastern Tanzania (Stuart & Hutton 1977) and Sokoke Forest in coastal 
Kenya (Britton & Zimmerman 1979). Three of the above reports appear- 
ed as issues of the Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society and 
National Museum. This provides an ideal vehicle for reports of this type, and 
similar papers on Tsavo East National Park in eastern Kenya and the Dar 
es Salaam area of coastal Tanzania will appear early in 1980, as will a long 
paper on the breeding seasons of East African birds. In this same journal, 
Mann (1976) provided a useful service by collating the most important East 
African distributional records of recent decades. 

Until 1976 the ornithological sub-committee of the EANHS consisted of 
only 2 members (Ringing Organizer and Nest Record Scheme Organizer). Its 
expansion to 10-12 members towards the end of 1976, and the launching of 
a quarterly ornithological journal Scopus,, is arguably the most important 
ornithological development of recent decades. In addition to publishing 
papers on all aspects of ornithology in eastern Africa (including Mozambique, 
Malawi and Zambia), the sub-committee assesses all bird records from 
East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda), producing an Annual Bird 
Report as a fifth issue of Scopus. This annual review includes a report on the 
Nest Record Scheme, but reports on the Ringing Scheme continue to ap- 
pear as issues of the Journal. 

There are two useful skeleton check-lists of East African birds (Backhurst 
& Backhurst 1970, Forbes-Watson 1971) and a more detailed work for 
Ethiopia (Urban & Brown 1971), but the region still has no definitive work 
comparable with those available for Zambia, Malawi and elsewhere (except- 
ing the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, admirably documented by Pakenham 
1979). Early in 1977 the ornithological sub-committee began work on an 
approximately 400-page work on the status, habitat and distribution of East 
African birds, to appear early in 1980, edited by P. L. Britton. Dealing with 
such a rich yet poorly documented avifauna has proved immensely difficult, 
and its near completion after only 3 years represents a remarkable achieve- 
ment for the sub-committee and its chairman Dr. D. J. Pearson. It is hoped 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 72 

that this long-overdue definitive work will act as a catalyst so that the orni- 
thology of this important region will flourish still more in the decades ahead. 


Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1937-61. The Birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden. 

Vols. 1-2. Gurney & Jackson: London; Vols. 3-4. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh. 
Ash, J. S. 1978: Bird-ringing in Ethiopia, Report No. 7, 1969-77. Washington. Cyclostyled. 

1979. A new species of serin from Ethiopia. Ibis 121: 1-7. 
Backhurst, G. C. 1977. East African bird ringing report 1974-77. Jl.E. Africa Nat. Hist. 

Soc. Natn. Mus. 146: 1-9. 
Backhurst, G. C. & Backhurst, D. E. G. 1970. A Preliminary Check List of East African 

Birds. Nairobi, cyclostyled. 
Bangs, O. & Loveridge, A. 1933. Reports on the scientific results of an expedition to the 

south-western highlands of Tanganyika Territory. Part 3, Birds. Bull. Mus. Comp. 

Zool. 75(3): 143-221. 
Beesley, J. S. 1972. Birds of the Arusha National Park, Tanzania.//. E. Africa Nat. Hist. 

Soc. Natn. Mus. 132: 1-30. 
Bo wen, W. W. 1926, 1931. Catalogue of Sudan birds based on the collection in the Sudan 

Government Museum (Natural History). Sudan Govt. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Publication 1: 

1 -1 20, Publication 2: 1-163. 
Britton, P. L. 1978a. Seasonality, density and diversity of birds of a papyrus swamp in 

western Kenya. Ibis 120: 450-466. 
Britton, P. L. 1978b. The Andersen collection from Tanzania. Scopus 2(4): 77-85. 
Britton, P. L. & Zimmerman, D. A. 1979. The avifauna of Sokoke Forest, Kenya.//. E. 

Africa Nat. Hist. Soc. Natn. Mus. 169: 1-16. 
Cave, F. O. & Macdonald, J. D. 1955. Birds of the Sudan. Edinburgh & London: Oliver & 

Elliott, C. C. H. 1972. An ornithological survey of the Kidepo National Park, northern 

Uganda.//. E. Africa Nat. Hist, Soc. Natn. Mus. 129: 1-3 1. 
Forbes- Watson, A. D. 1971. Skeleton Checklist of East African Birds. Nairobi, cyclostyled. 
Friedmann, H. 1966. A contribution to the ornithology of Uganda. Bull. Los Angeles 

County Mus. Nat. Sci. 3: 1-55. 
Friedmann, H. & Loveridge, A. 1937. Notes on the ornithology of tropical East Africa. 

Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 81(1): 1-4 13. 
Granvik, H. 1934. The ornithology of north-western Kenya Colony with special regard 

to the Suk and Turkana Districts. Revue. Zool. Bot. Afr. 25: 1-190. 
Jackson, F. J. 1938. The Birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate. London: Gurney 

& Jackson. 
Lynes, H. 1934. Contribution to the ornithology of southern Tanganyika Territory. /. 

Orn. Lp%. 82: 1-147. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952, 1955. African Handbook of Birds. 

Series 1 , 2 volumes. Birds of Eastern and North Eastern Africa. London: Longmans, 

Green & Co. 
Mann, C. F. 1976. Some recent changes in our knowledge of bird distribution in East 

Africa.//. E. Africa Nat. Hist. Soc. Natn. Mus. 157: 1-24. 
Moltoni, E. & Ruscone, G. G. 1940-44. Gli uccelli dell' Africa Orientale Italiana. Milano: 

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale. 
Pakenham, R. H. W. 1979. The Birds of Zanzibar and Pemba. London: B.O.U. Check-list 

No. 2. 
Pearson, D. J. & Backhurst, G. C. 1976. The southward migration of Palaearctic birds 

over Ngulia, Kenya. Ibis it 8: 78-105. 
Ripley, S. D. & Bond, G. M. 1971. Systematic notes on a collection of birds from Kenya. 

Smith. Contrib. m: 1-21. 
Ripley, S. D. & Heinrich, G. H. 1966. Comments on the avifauna of Tanzania, 1. Postilla 

96: 1-45. 
Someren, V. G. L. van 1932. Birds of Kenya and Uganda, being addenda and corrigenda 

to my previous paper in Novitates Zoologicae. Novit. Zool. 37: 252-380. 
Stuart, S. N. & Hutton, J. M. (eds.) 1977. The Avifauna of the East Usambara Mountains, 

Tanzania. Cambridge, cyclostyled. 
Urban, E. K. & Brown, L. II. 1971. A Checklist of the Birds of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa: 

I talk Selassie I University Press. 

7 3 [Bull. B.O.C. 19 80 : 1 oo( 1 ) ] 

Williams, J. G. 1963. A Field Guide to the Birds of East and Centra Africa. London: Collins. 
Williams, J. G. 1967. A Field Guide to the National Parks of East Africa. London: Collins. 
Zimmerman, D. A. 1972. The avifauna of the Kakamega Forest, western Kenya, including 
a bird population study. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 149: 255-340. 

Address: P. L. Britton, Shimo-la-Tewa School, P.O. Box 90163, Mombasa, Kenya. 
© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Ornithology in southern Africa, 1930— 1980 

by R. K. Brooke 

1930 saw the publication of Part II (the passerine section) of W. L. Sclater's 
Sy sterna Avium Aethiopicarum. This marked the close of the period of basic 
faunal exploration and also provided a modern classification and nomen- 
clature within which the birds of south and east Africa could be studied and 
discussed. Prior to 1930 nearly all publications on Afrotropical ornithology 
dealt with faunal exploration, descriptions of new taxa and correct placing 
of taxa in the natural system. Such work is not yet completed but it is now a 
relatively minor constituent of studies on our birds. 

1930 saw the start of the Ostrich, not the area's first indigenous ornitho- 
logical journal but the first to survive till the present. After the war it was 
joined by the Bokmakierie and later the Honey guide. In addition, much on 
ornithology was published in museum serials both in Africa and overseas 
and in wider natural history serials. The period has seen a spate of books 
on the faunas of different sections of the area. The first decade saw the 
appearance of Chapin's Birds of the Belgian Congo followed by Priest's Birds 
of Southern Rhodesia, Gill's First Guide to South African Birds, Winterbottom's 
Revised Check hist of the Birds of Northern Rhodesia, Hoesch's & Niethammer's 
Vogelwelt Deutsch-Suedivest-afrikas and Roberts's Birds of South Africa. After 
the war many more books were published until one could say that most 
major areas were covered more or less satisfactorily by an annotated check- 
list or a handbook, the exceptions being northern Mozambique and Tan- 
zania. Most of these books are mentioned again later, but three post war 
publications of wider scope must be mentioned here: White's Revised Check- 
lists of African Birds; Mackworth-Praed & Grant's Handbooks of African 
Birds; Moreau & Hall's and Snow's Atlas(es) of African Birds. These thtee 
complexes of works have put the documentation of Afrotropical orni- 
thology far ahead of the ornithology of the Neotropical and Oriental 
regions, the other predominantly tropical regions of the world. 

1930 saw the first full year of the Southern African Ornithological 
Society's life, again not the first indigenous bird society but the first to 
survive till the present. 

Southern African ornithology has been dominated by residents, often 
immigrants who made their homes there, compared with east Africa, which 
has depended on expatriates. Partly as a result of this and partly because 
of southern Africa's somewhat less complex variety of habitats and faunas 
there has been far more work on local lists and on faunal analysis in 
southern Africa than in east Africa, exemplified by the 90 issues of the 
South African Avifauna Series edited by Winterbottom. One disadvantage 
of the differences between developments in southern and eastern ornithology 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 74 

is that English names for birds have developed different traditions. The 
more prominent South African birds have an autochthonous name, whereas 
all those in east Africa have specially created book names. Harmonization 
would be desirable and it is the ornithologists of Zambia and Zimbabwe 
Rhodesia who can best do this since they live amongst a transitional avifauna 
and names from both traditions are in accepted usage there. 

With the decline in importance and excitement of basic faunal exploration 
came a rise in enthusiasm for life history studies. This was a widespread 
phenomenon on both sides of the North Atlantic at the time and greatly 
influenced workers in Africa and Australia. Similarly, the development of 
ecological approaches to bird study in Europe found followers, particularly 
Moreau and Winterbottom, who took up the themes in Africa. This was 
in part due to the visits of David Lack in 1934 and John Emlenin the 1950*5, 
their approach to problems in the weaver genus Euplectes being more 
ecologically orientated than that of contemporary African workers. 

After the war a bird ringing (banding) scheme was started in South 
Africa which has produced many results of great interest, the rings having 
also been widely used in Malawi and Zambia and even as far north as Uganda. 
The initial impetus was the hope, since realised, of recovering Palaearctic 
migrants on their breeding grounds. Latterly, more attention has been 
given to studies of more or less resident faunas from which data on plumage 
development, moult, change of eye colour, weight, longevity, mate and 
breeding site fidelity etc, have been obtained. 

Also after the war a nest record card scheme was started in South Africa, 
a scheme which now has c. 100,000 cards with perhaps twice as many nests 
recorded on them. Several papers have been published arising in whole 
or in part from this body of data. 

The late 1960's saw the rise of the university approach to bird study, 
testing a theory by investigating what a bird does in a particular situation. 
This approach engenders a great increase in quantification, tables and 
statistics, with the consequence that the relatively small number of people 
interested in birds in South Africa, most of whom have had no training 
in zoology, find the resulting papers difficult to understand and enjoy. 
This problem is less serious in the North Atlantic countries where there 
are far more people interested at different levels in birds, so that it is practic- 
able to have societies and journals catering for different levels of interests 
and sophistication of study. 

So far, southern Africa has not lost a breeding species of bird due to 
recent human activity. Nonetheless, forest and bush clearing and swamp 
draining have proceeded apace these last 20 years and many local popula- 
tions have been eliminated by destruction of their breeding habitat. Some 
awareness of the conservation risks involved is now widespread among the 
literate but few projects are altered because they involve avoidable habitat 
destruction. Many feel that the creation of some national parks in which 
natural habitats and their faunas can continue undisturbed is all that is 
needed. Much land only used for cultivation at long intervals is now used 
on a more or less permanent basis. Since most of it is of doubtful fertility, 
the human and non-human faunas resident there are not in a state of 
equilibrium and catastrophes like those in the west African Sahel are to 
be expected. Every government believes that it must provide for its people's 

75 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

feeding and livelihood and nature conservation is not likely to prevail very 
often in cases of competing claims for land use in Africa. 

Besides the successive waves of interest and approach to the study of 
southern African birds of the last 50 years, work proceeds throughout the 
area on the older lines, since these have not been fully exploited. Faunal 
exploration, including subspeciation continues; life histories of the great 
majority of African birds and the full ecological requirements of most 
species are as yet unknown, and the testing of hypotheses by investigating 
birds has hardly begun. The next major step must be to involve black Afri- 
cans for their own interest in ornithology so that it ceases its dependence 
on resident and expatriate whites. 

It is always invidious to draw attention to the names of those who have 
made substantial contribution to our knowledge of the birds of a country 
and I shall sidestep the problem by confining my remarks for the most part 
to writers of books, the most substantial and permanent proof of work done. 
Tanzania was Reg Moreau's stamping ground 1 928-1 946, and its central 
position on the east side of Africa must have been partly responsible for 
the development of his Africa wide interests, resulting in his two major 
works, The Bird Faunas of Africa and its Islands and The Palaearctic- African 
Bird Migration Systems. Reg Moreau was the nearest thing to an internation- 
ally renowned theoretician that Africa has produced. 

Malawi has had two checklists, one in 1953 by Con Benson and one in 
1977 by Con & Molly Benson. The first of these was particularly important 
since it was the first checklist anywhere to go beyond names, authorities 
and a generalized statement on range by providing data on precise range, 
habitat, breeding season and the like with supporting references. Zambia 
has done even better in that it has had two checklists, one in 1949 by White 
& Winterbottom and another in 1957 by Benson & White, to be followed 
in 1971 by The Birds of Zambia by Benson, Brooke, Dowsett & Irwin. 
Angola had its checklist by Mel Traylor published in 1963. 

There is an increase in written work once the Zambezi River is crossed. 
While Frade's Cata<,ogo das Aves de Mocambique covered the whole country 
(but only by citing published references), Clancey's Handlist of the Birds 
of Southern Mocambique was a list on the Benson model, extensively illustrated 
in colour by the author. The periodical literature on Zimbabwe Rhodesia 
is rich (it has its own journal, the Honejguide) but the only summary is 
Smithers, Irwin and Paterson's 1957 checklist. However, Irwin has a Birds 
of Zimbabwe in an advanced stage of preparation. Botswana got its checklist 
from Smithers in 1964, and Namibia from Winterbottom in 1971. South 
Africa has had three checklists, Vincent's, Clancey's and Winterbottom 
et aPs. More to the point, it has had Maclachlan & Liversidge's 1957 
Roberts' Birds of South Africa, a superb summary of all that was then known 
of South African birds. The 1970 and 1978 revisions have not maintained 
the standard originally set. Mention may also be made of Skead's Canaries, 
Seedeaters and Buntings of Southern Africa, his Sunbirds of Southern Africa and 
Clancey's Birds of Natal and Zululand. One must regretfully remark that 
there is no acceptably competent field guide to the birds of any part of 
Subsaharan or Afrotropical Africa. 

There are many reasons for the upsurge in work on southern African 
birds since the war, four of which seem particularly important. First, Reay 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 76 

Smithers, Rhodesia's Director of National Museums, encouraged the serious 
minded to study birds and other classes of animals and made museum 
facilities, chiefly the study collections and library, readily available to those 
who needed them. Secondly, Gerrie Broekhuysen, at the University of Cape 
Town, was the first African academic with a strong interest in birds and 
those who studied zoology under him were often influenced in this direction. 
Thirdly, the FitzPatrick Institute was founded in 1959 at the University of 
Cape Town by Cecily Niven in honour of her father. The first Director 
was Jack Winterbottom and he was succeeded in 1971 by Roy Siegfried. 
It is the only institute of ornithology in Africa, or indeed anywhere, south 
of the equator and while it is mainly orientated to an academic approach, 
it covers all the levels that were discussed above. It has also been the leading 
proponent in South Africa of the approach that birds are only intelligible 
as parts of ecosystems. Finally, the Ostrich, which has had a succession of 
editors (Jack Vincent, Gerrie Broekhuysen, Bunty Rowan, Alan Kemp and 
the present incumbent, Gordon Maclean) who have sought to improve the 
standard of its form and contents and have been largely successful in this. 

The latest development in South Africa is the increasing attention paid 
to seabird studies, not only in the continental shelf but also on Marion 
Island far to the south, an island which has the second richest fauna of 
breeding seabirds in the Southern Ocean. 

Address: R. K. Brooke, FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch "'700, 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Fifty years of ornithology in the Malagasy Faunal Region 

by C. W. Benson 

The Malagasy Region is taken as the area in the western Indian Ocean from 
Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands north to the Seychelles and the 
Chagos Archipelago, sufficiently distinct from Africa to merit regional rank 
(Moreau, in Thomson (Ed.) New Diet. Birds 1964: 443-444). There is a survey 
of work in the Indian Ocean as a whole by Bourne (J. Marine Biol. Assoc. 
India 14(2), 1972 : 609-627), while for a general bibliography (including birds) 
of the northern part of the more restricted area here considered see Peters & 
Lionnet (Atoll Res. Bull. 165, 1973). Consideration of space precludes cover- 
age of but a fraction of the recent literature, although as many key references 
as possible are included. Since we are dealing with discrete islands or archi- 
pelagos, some division is necessary. 


By far the largest area is Madagascar. The modern era began with the 
Franco-Anglo-American Expedition of 1929-32, under the aegis respectively 
of J. Delacour, Dr P. R. Lowe and Dr L. C. Sanford. The result was a series 
of short notes and reports, culminating in the paper by Rand (Bull. Amer. 
Mus. Nat. Hist. 72, 1936: 143-499). It is a mine of information on distribu- 
tion and ecology, although collecting in the 19th century had provided a 
fairly complete inventory of species. Even so, since 1930 six species have 
been described for the first time, namely Randia pseudo^psterops and Newtonia 

77 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

archboldi Delacour & Berlioz (193 1), N. fanovanae Gyldenstolpe (1933), 
Neodrepanis hypoxantha Salomonsen (1933), Mont kola bensoni Farkas (1971) and 
Thyllastrephus apperti Colston (1972). Newtonia fanovanae is still known from 
but a single specimen - maybe it lives in the canopy of dense evergreen 
forest, and escapes notice. This may also apply to the Neodrepanis, of which 
there is no published evidence of its existence since 1929 (Benson, Bull. Brit. 
Orn. CI. 1974: 141-143). 

The general characteristics of the land birds have been discussed by 
Moreau {The Bird Faunas of Africa and its Islands, 1966: 327-344) and by 
Dorst (in Battistini & Richard- Vindard (Eds), Biogeographj and Ecology) in 
Madagascar, 1972: 615-627). As many as 5 endemic families still extant are 
recognised by some authors, and many more such genera and species. Most 
of their ancestors arrived by flying across the Mozambique Channel, but 
some came from Asia, island-hopping being aided by such archipelagos as 
the Seychelles. A point not brought out by Moreau or Dorst is that the ratite 
family, the Aepyornithidae, which may have survived until 400 years ago, 
did not arrive by flying. Probably it existed before Madagascar was separated 
from Africa about the late Cretaceous (Cracraft, /. Zoo/. Lond. 169, 1973 : 475 , 
517; Ibis, 1974: 514). 

Both Moreau and Dorst emphasise Madagascar's strong ecological 
diversity. In the east the rainfall is very high (up to 3 500 mm^«?r annum in the 
northeast), and the original vegetation was dense evergreen forest (much of 
which has been cleared for cultivation). In the west, separated from the east 
by a spine of highlands, now denuded of forest, the rainfall is much less, and 
savanna predominates. In the southwest annual rainfall is less than 500 mm, 
and sub-desert scrub prevails. This diversity would have favoured speciation 
within the island, as exemplified by the endemic Vangidae (12 species) and 
the endemic genus Coua (CucuMdze, 10 species). 

Between the international expedition of 1929-32 and World War II, little 
field work was undertaken, except by L. Lavauden, who furthermore pub- 
lished in 1937 a supplement to Milne-Edwards & Grandidier's voluminous 
work of 1882-85. There is one paper resulting from military service (V. D. 
van Someren, Ibis 1947: 235-267). Since the war there has been a revival, 
thanks especially to O. Appert, P. Griveaud, P. Malzy, Ph. Milon, R. Paulian, 
R. P. Paulian and J. Salvan. In 1973 there appeared the Faune de Madagascar. 
Oiseaux, by Milon, Petter & Randrianasolo. It is fully illustrated and useful 
as a field identification guide, but too bulky for the pocket. The results of 
some further work, by Charles-Dominique, Dhondt, also by Colebrook- 
Robjent, Williams and myself, have been published in UOiseau et K.F.O., 
1 91 < )~11' The atlases of speciation in African birds (Hall & Moreau 1970 and 
Snow (Ed.) 1978) shed light on the origins of some species. Further work, by 
G. S. Keith, A. D. Forbes- Watson and D. A. Turner, for the most part still 
awaits publication. Conservation of the habitat of this unique avifauna is an 
outstandingly pressing problem - particularly the forests of the humid east, 
since forest birds are singularly ill-adapted to withstand environmental 

The Mascarene Is/ands 

Reunion, Mauritius and Rodriguez are famous for the endemic family, 
the Raphidae (dodos and solitaires - if in fact 3 discrete families are not. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(1)] 78 

involved - cf. Storer, Auk 1970: 369-370). Each island had its own flightless 
form (the Reunion one only known from illustrations and travellers' ac- 
counts), all extinct for more than 200 years, killed off by meat-hungry 
sailors. Many other species have long disappeared, and are known only from 
bones. The worst sufferers were Mauritius and Rodriguez. 

Even now the survival of some species is the cause of grave anxiety, for 
example on Mauritius the endemic kestrel Falco punctatus and on Rodriguez 
the endemic fody Foudia flavicans. The avifauna of Mauritius in particular 
now, indeed, consists largely of introduced species. The ecology and 
evolution of the white-eyes of Reunion and Mauritius, fortunately still not 
endangered, have been studied in a series of papers by R. W. Storer and 
F. B. Gill, most recently by Gi\l(Auk 1971 : 35-60; A.O.U. Monogr. 12, 1973). 
On Reunion, the endemic harrier has been studied by Clouet (UOiseau et 
R.F.O. 1978: 95-106, as Circus aeruginosus maillardi). There is a general 
account of the islands by Staub (Birds of the Mascarenes and Saint Brandon, 1976). 
During 1974-75 there was a B.O.U. expedition to the Mascarenes, organised 
by P. Hogg and led by A. S. Cheke, the other members being G. S. Cowles, 
Mrs. J. Home and S. A. Temple (studying respectively fossil material, 
vocalisations and endangered species). The results will surely shed much 
further light on the avifauna of the islands, and are to be published as a 
special number of the Ibis in 1980. 

Comoro Islands 

Virtually no information had been forthcoming from the Comoro Islands 
since the 19th century, and so as part of the B.O.U. centenary celebrations 
an expedition went there in 1958, the members being P. Griveaud, my wife 
and myself. The results were published in i960 (Benson, Ibis 103b: 5-106). 
Despite forest destruction (worst on Anjouan), no evidence was obtained 
of any extinctions, except perhaps for 2 endemic subspecies on Anjouan. 
Considerable ecological information was collected (little existed previously). 
One new species of warbler, Nesillas mariae, was described from Moheli, 
and a probable new species of scops owl, Otus pau/iani, from Grand Comoro, 
though the status of the owl requires confirmation from tape-recordings of 
its voice (Marshall, A.O.U. Monogr. 25, 1978: 18). Further short visits have 
included one by Forbes-Watson (Atoll. Res. Bull. 128, 1969) and Salvan 
(Alauda 1972: 18-22). 


This is the least disturbed elevated-limestone island in the Indian Ocean. 
In 1965 plans were made by the British Government for an air staging post 
on the atoll - in the event the proposal was dropped in 1967 for financial 
reasons, but not before considerable outcry. The Royal Society made 
proposals for the preservation of Aldabra for scientific study, organised a 
series of expeditions directed by Dr. D. R. Stoddart, and by 1971 had 
completed a research station, to be handed over in 1980 to the Government 
of the Seychelles, of which Aldabra is now politically a part. Ornithology 
has figured prominently in these activities. The first workers were A. W. 
Diamond {sea birds), M. J. Penny (land and shore birds) and myself (land 
birds): for reports, see Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B260, 1971 : 417-571. In addition, 
certain species have received special attention: Phaethon spp. (Diamond, Auk 

79 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1 

1975: 16-39); Sut* su ^ a (Diamond, Ardea 1974: 196-218); Fregata spp. 
(Diamond, Ibis 1975 : 302-323); Dryolimnas cuvieri (most recently, Huxley & 
Wilkinson, Ibis 1979: 265-273); Centropus toulou (Frith, Ostrich 1975: 251-257; 
R. Woodell, Ibis 1976: 263-268); Foudia eminentissima (Frith, Ibis 1976: 
155-178). Publication is awaited (in Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B286) of a study 
by R. P. Prys-Jones of Nesillas aldabranus, only known by a few pairs on 
a limited area, and only discovered in 1967. Other studies include a review 
of the species of Ibidoecus parasitic on Threskiornis, including T. aethiopica 
abbotti endemic to Aldabra (Clay, Syst. Tint. 1, 1976: 1-7); the vegetation of 
sea bird colonies (Gillham, Atoll Res. Bull. 200, 1977); and descriptions of a 
new duck and small procellarid, from pleistocene remains (Harrison & 
Walker, J. Nat. Hist. 12, 1978: 7-14). The birds of certain islands east to 
Farquhar and northeast to the Amirante Islands have been surveyed in 
Stoddart (Ed.) (Atoll Res. Bull. 136, 1970), and of the lies Glorieuses by 
Benson, Beamish, Jouanin, Salvan & Watson (ibid. 176, 1975), while for an 
account of the former existence of Dryolimnas cuvieri on Astove, in the 
Aldabra Archipelago, see Stoddart (Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1971: 145-146). 

Seychelles Archipelago 

Conservation and research have evoked as much concern in the Seychelles 
as on Aldabra. Except for the 2 northern outliers, Bird and Dennis Islands, 
the components are of granitic origin. They were inaccessible from the 
outside world by air until 1971, since when a flourishing tourist industry 
has developed, also enabling the 4th Pan- African Ornithological Congress 
to be held on Mahe in 1976; but clearly this has accentuated the conservation 
problem. Two endemics, Psittacula eupatria wardi and Zosterops mayottensis 
semiflava, had apparently become extinct in the 1890's, while the stock of the 
endemic Streptopelia picturata rostrata has been so diluted by the introduction 
of S. p. picturata as to only survive more or less pure on Cousin and Cousine. 
Recent moves include the purchase of Cousin in 1968, from funds raised 
through the International Council for Bird Preservation and the World 
Wildlife Fund, and of Aride in 1973 by C. Cadbury for the Society for the 
Promotion of Nature Conservation. Both islands are important as sanctu- 
aries for breeding sea birds, Cousin also as a refuge for Bebrornis seychellensis, 
which is increasing in numbers, as is Terpsiphone corvina under protection on 
La Digue. The most recent report on conservation in the Seychelles, by the 
I.C.B.P., is no. 5, June 1976. 

Penny's book The Birds of Seychelles (1974) is the only pocket field guide 
for any part of the Malagasy Region, and actually takes in the islands as far 
south as the Farquhar and Aldabra groups. The only land birds in the 
granitic Seychelles to have received special study before this book was in 
preparation were the 2 Foudia spp. (Crook, Ibis 1961 : 5 17-548). The following 
further studies, albeit briefer, deserve mention: Bubulcus ibis (Feare, Ibis 
1975: 388); Falco araea (Feare, Temple & Procter, Ibis 1974: 548-551); 
Hypsipetes crassirostris (Greig- Smith, Ostrich 1979: 45-58); Copsychus seychel- 
larum (Wilson & Wilson, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1978: 15-21); Terpsiphone 
corvina (Fraser, Ibis 1972: 399-401; Greig-Smith, Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1978: 
41-43); Acridotheres tristis (Feare, /. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 1976: 525-527); 
Zosterops modesta (most recently, Greig-Smith, Ibis 1979: 344-348). There has 
also been much information on migrants, thus see Turner & Forbes-Watson 

[BulfiB.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 80 

{Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 1976: 57-58); Penry {ibid. 1977: 1 20-1 21); Ebenhard 
{ibid. 1979: 39-40); Feare {ibid. 1979: 75-77); Feare & High (Ibis 1977: 
323-338). Feare (Ibis 1974: 543-545) has discussed mangrove utilization. 
For 40 years there has been concern that the farming of the eggs of the tern 
Sterna fuscata, collected and sold commercially on Mahe, was being carried 
to excess. In fact the largest source of supply is not in the Seychelles proper 
(where the largest colonies are on Bird Island and Aride, now protected by 
the owners), but on Desneufs in the Amirantes. The problem has been 
lately thoroughly studied by Feare (most recently Biol. Cons. 10, 1976: 
1 69-1 81). Various other terns, as well as 2 Puffinus spp. and Phaethon lepturus, 
breed in the Seychelles. On the other hand Sula dactylatra and S. leucogastcr, 
which formerly bred on Bird Island, no longer do so. Sadly, this is merely 
part of a general decline amongst the boobies in the western Indian Ocean 
(Feare, Biol. Cons. 14, 1978: 295-305). For certain misconceptions about sea 
birds in Penny's book (particularly the occurrence of Stern balaenarum)^ see 
Feare & Bourne (Ostrich 1978 : 64-66). Due for publication in 1980, Stoddart 
(Ed.) (Biogeography and Ecology of the Seychelles Islands) will contain papers on 
both land and sea birds. 

Chagos Archipelago 

The birds of these islands have been discussed by Bourne (Atoll Res. Bull. 
149, 1971: 175-207). Sea birds predominate, and discounting Butorides 
striatus there is no land bird which might not have been man-introduced. 
Hutson {ibid. 175, 1975) records observations confined to Diego Garcia. 

The pelagic distribution of sea birds in the western Indian Ocean has been 
studied by Bailey (Ibis 1968: 493-519), from his observations during the 
International Indian Ocean Expedition on board the "Discovery" in 1963 
and 1964. Covering the same area, this author (/. Marine Biol. Assoc. India 
14(2), 1972: 628-642) has discussed their breeding seasons, species composi- 
tion, density at sea and migrations. 

One may conclude by stressing the increasing activity in the Malagasy 
Region since the turn of the century. The following figures of publications 
relevant are some index: 1900-29, 64; 1930-39, 60; 1940-49, 30; 1950-59, 
60; 1960-69, 97; 1970-79, 169. The low figure for 1940-49 is largely attri- 
butable to World War II. 

Acknowledgements : I wish to thank Miss Phyllis Barclay-Smith for certain literature; and 
Dr. C. J. Feare for commenting on the manuscript. 

Address: C. W. Benson, Department of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Indian Ornithology: The Current Trends 

by Salim AH . 

A general interest in birds as pets or for sport was inherent in mediaeval 
India, though by and large perhaps as rather an elitist activity. Some of the 
noblemen of the Moghul court and the emperors themselves, particularly 
Babur the founder of the dynasty, and his great grandson Jahangir, were 
accomplished naturalists as their own memoirs and contemporary records of 

81 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

European travellers abundantly show. Many of Jahangir's observations are 
so scientifically accurate that they might have been made by a discerning 
birdwatcher today. But ornithology as currently understood really began and 
developed as a scientific discipline during the British connection. Despite 
some sporadic collecting of skins by early European travellers and servants 
of the East India Company in various parts of the country, and publication 
of their reports in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Proceedings of the 
Zoological Society of London, and elsewhere, Indian ornithology really started 
with the advent in 1864 of the 2 volumes of Birds of India by T. C. Jerdon, a 
surgeon in the Madras Army of the E.I.C., which epitomized all the know- 
ledge up to that period. Most of the basic information on Indian birds that 
we possess has accrued between that period and the turn of the century, 
predominantly through the monumental labours in field and museum of such 
outstanding naturalists as Edward Blyth, Brian Houghton Hodgson, and 
Allan Octavian Hume. In my estimation the most remarkable among these 
three was Hume, both for his humanity and as a savant of ornithology. 
While still an active Civil Servant he found time from his multifarious 
official duties and preoccupations to amass a gargantuan collection of some 
60,000 bird skins from far flung corners of the subcontinent, aided in part 
by the wide network of proteges he had built up through voluminous 
correspondence, advice and guidance. Over and above all this Hume found 
the time to edit his journal of Indian ornithology bearing the somewhat 
eccentric title of Stray Feathers. The 1 1 volumes of this publication which 
appeared between 1873 and 1888, before it closed down, are a veritable gold 
mine for the ornithologist, and indispensable for every serious student of 
Indian birds. When Stray Feathers ceased publication many of its former 
contributors diverted their writings to The Ibis and to the. Journal of the Bombay 
Natural History Society (JBNHS) which had made its debut in 1 886. The latter 
is now in its 75th volume and has become increasingly important in dis- 
seminating knowledge about Indian birds. 

Indian ornithology received its second definitive boost after Jerdon with 
the publication, between 1889 and 1898, of the 4 volumes on birds by E. W. 
Oates and W. T. Blanford in the Fauna of British India series sponsored by the 
Secretary of State for India. Like its predecessor it brought together and 
updated all the advances in knowledge resulting from the extensive explora- 
tions in the field and taxonomic research in the museum during the inter- 
vening 27 years. This renewed fillip was clearly responsible for producing the 
rash of outstanding field ornithologists that distinguished the next 3 3 years 
up to the publication of volume 1 of the second edition of the Fauna of 
British India series on birds - the New Fauna for short - by E. C. Stuart Baker, 
himself an illustrious product of that period. The 6 main volumes of the 
New Fauna were completed in 1930. They in turn showed up many lacunae 
in our knowledge, especially concerning areas in the subcontinent which had 
been imperfectly explored or not at all : areas such as the Eastern Ghats and 
the territories of many of the princely states like Hyderabad and Gwalior, 
in the centre of the Peninsula, Mysore, Travancore and Cochin in the south, 
Baroda, Kutch and the Kathiawar states in the west, Jodhpur and Bahawalpur 
in Rajasthan, and smaller states in Orissa and elsewhere which together 
constituted a very considerable part of the British Indian Empire. 

Precise knowledge of the spatial distribution of even the commoner birds 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 82 

within the subcontinent was lacking. This knowledge had become crucial in 
view of the concept of subspecies, which had been introduced by Stuart 
Baker himself for the first time in Indian ornithology. In fact one of the main 
criticisms of the New Fauna was that the author had assigned subspecies 
arbitrarily to areas whence adequate material was unavailable in museums for 
a comparative study. To rectify this deficiency the Bombay Natural History 
Society, at the instigation of Hugh Whistler, one of the most active British 
workers on Indian birds at the time, and with the financial generosity of 
Mr Arthur S. Vernay, an American business magnate, organized an ornitho- 
logical field survey of the Eastern Ghats. The survey collections, meticulously 
studied and reported on by Whistler and Kinnear (later Sir Norman) with 
the collaboration of Dr C. B. Ticehurst in the Journal of the Bombay Natural 
History Society (1930-37), showed up convincingly the importance of this 
type of exploration and further highlighted the remaining and additional 
lacunae. Thus followed a series of similar bird surveys - organized by the 
Bombay Natural History Society and funded chiefly by the States concerned, 
which by the next 20 years had covered practically all the unworked areas of 
the subcontinent, furnishing a more comprehensive picture of the avifauna. 

Up to the time of the First World War (19 14) practically all the work on 
Indian birds had been done by Britishers, chiefly colonial civil and military 
officials, indigo and coffee planters and the like. Names of the more promi- 
nent among these are chronicled in the Introduction to Vol. 1 of Handbook 
of the Birds of India and Pakistan (S. Ali & S. Dillon Ripley 1969). Between 
the First World War and the Second (1939) most ornithologists' names are 
still British, though a falling off of interest in Indian birds in favour of 
Africa is already perceptible. With the deaths of Dr. C. B. Ticehurst in 
1941 and his close friend and collaborator H. Whistler in 1943 - two of the 
last and most outstanding contributors to Indian bird lore - the British 
era of Indian ornithology virtually came to an end. Also discernible during 
this period is the emergence of first a few sporadic, and then an increasing 
number of Indian names among the ornithological contributors to the 
Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. In the pre-Independence period, 
i.e. between the end of World War II and 1947, the focus of British orni- 
thological interest had shifted more or less completely to Africa. The only 
foreigner who has contributed steadily and substantially since that time is 
my colleague and co-author, the American Dr. S. Dillon Ripley. The trend 
since then has been mainly towards a more intensive exploration of un- 
worked areas, and field studies of individual species, as well as of such 
problems as Migration through large scale bird ringing, and other problems 
of an ecological nature. Most of the taxonomical work involved has also 
been done by Indian ornithologists, with the noted exception of Dr. Ripley, 
who has been active both in the museum and the field since the last War, 
and whose Synopsis of the Birds of India and Pakistan^ 1961 (2nd edition in 
preparation) is a basic and definitive contribution. Synopsis forms the taxo- 
nomical basis of the Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan by Salim Ali 
& S. Dillon Ripley, published by Oxford University Press between 1968 and 
1974. This comprehensive manual is the 'spiritual' successor to the New 
Fauna and embodies within its 10 volumes all the additions and corrections 
accrued during the 30 years since Stuart Baker's last volume. By updating 
available information, laying special emphasis on ecology, and providing 

83 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

identification keys and colour illustrations for most of the 1 200 odd species 
(plus subspecies) that it describes, the Handbook purports to serve the museum 
scientist as well as the serious birdwatcher. 

Birdwatching as a hobby has never enjoyed much popularity among 
Indians. Religious sentiment against taking life has inhibited the juvenile 
collection of bird skins and eggs as has been so popular among schoolboys 
in the West. This, combined with the lack of encouragement in the home 
and of inspiring nature study instruction in school, where most teachers are 
themselves ignorant in bird lore, has tended to dampen the spirit of enquiry 
in Indian children. Another serious impediment was that until quite recently 
illustrated bird books were virtually non-existent, thus discouraging even 
self-teaching. Whistler's Popular Handbook of Indian Birds which first appeared 
in 1928, followed by further editions in 1935 and 1941, was perhaps the 
greatest influence in awakening an interest in birds among the Indian public, 
despite the fact that it contains so few colour illustrations. For a beginner, 
colour illustrations are indispensable. I vividly recall my own difficulties as 
a struggling novice 70 years ago without such aid. A further 'leap 
foward' in popular interest in birds came after the publication by the 
Bombay Natural History Society of Salim Ali's The Book of Indian Birds in 
1 941, which carried coloured illustrations of all the 181 commoner Indian 
species that it described. Popular interest has increased and multiplied with 
each successive edition of The Book, so that it is now encouragingly wide- 
spread and growing, particularly among the middle class young. The 
eleventh edition contains colour pictures and descriptions of 296 species 
found in the plains and hills of peninsular India, south of the Himalayas. 

Fortunately for Indian students the foundation for study of properly 
classified reference material is available in the comprehensive collections of 
the Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, and the Bombay Natural History 
Society. Further ad hoc specimen collection is now unnecessary except in a 
few remote and unexplored pockets of the country and of rare and little 
known forms. There would seem to be comparatively little scope for 
further taxonomical work on Indian birds, for which, in any case, the 
major foreign museums are perhaps better equipped. Happily the emphasis 
has now turned to ecology and ethology, breeding biology, population 
dynamics, conservation, and studies that have essentially to do with the 
living bird. The economic importance of birds in a country so largely 
dependent on agriculture and forestry is just beginning to be adequately 
appreciated, and centres for research in economic ornithology have been 
set up in some of the recently started agricultural universities. The Bombay 
Natural History Society, with its exceptional facilities in the way of its bird 
collection and ornithological library, is recogni2ed by the University of 
Bombay as a guiding institution for postgraduate research in field orni- 
thology, and some highly commendable research projects have been com- 
pleted by its students. It is hoped that more and more competent teachers 
will thus become available for conducting ornithological courses in our 
schools and colleges, and for providing trained personnel for our expanding 
Nature Conservation and Wildlife Management programmes. 

Address: Dr. Salim Ali, Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, Shahid Bhagat 
Singh Road, Bombay 400023, India. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

[BhII.B.O.C. i 9 So: ioo(i)] 84 

The state of ornithology in eastern Asia 

by Earl of Cranbrook 

I take as my alloted geographical limits that sector of Asia lying south of 
about 45 °N and east of about 95 °E (but not including far eastern U.S.S.R.), 
bounded on its Pacific flank by the outer islands of Japan, the Philippines 
and Indonesia. This is a region marked by great diversity in the natural 
environment and wide variety in the history and social systems of its human 
inhabitants. It is also a region within which war, revolution or military 
insurgency have been prevalent, locally or at large, for the past 40 years or 
more and emergent nationalism has tended too often to inhibit communica- 
tion across frontiers. Much has occurred to impede the advance of orni- 
thology and few common trends can be identified. 

In this region, only Japan can show the full range of ornithological 
activities and supporting institutions familiar to us in the United Kingdom. 
Widespread popular appreciation of birds exists, reflected in a literature 
covering aesthetics, conservation, field identification, etc. Discs of bird 
song are available commercially. There is an academically oriented Ornitho- 
logical Society, founded in 191 2, which publishes the journal Tori and has 
produced 5 successive editions of a national checklist. The latest revision 
of this checklist, which took 7 years to piepare, was supported by the good- 
will of a publishing company and a grant in aid from the Ministry of Educa- 
tion. It consists of Japanese and English language texts, separately bound, 
with a loose Addenda and corrigenda accompanying the second printing 
(Ornithological Society of Japan 1975). 

Birds have been ringed in Japan since 1924. Initially attention was con- 
centrated on waterfowl but — as appropriate in the country which gave the 
mist-net to the world — subsequent ringing studies have involved birds 
of all kinds. Current ornithological research is sponsored by organisations 
including government agencies and universities. Also active is the Yama- 
shina Institute for Ornithology and Zoology, a research institution which 
owes its foundation to private charity and, among other things, houses an 
important museum collection. 

Before World War II, Japanese ornithologists contributed significantly 
to studies of the birds of more southerly parts of the region (e.g., Taiwan, 
Philippines, Java), playing a part comparable to that of ornithologists of 
Europe in their counterpart tropical zone (i.e., Africa). Since the war, 
Japan has not yet re-emerged in this role. In the main, in tropical southeast 
Asia, the innovative work of recent years has been initiated by 'expatriates 
of non-Asian domicile, temporarily 01 more or less enduringly resident in 
the region. 

It was from a base in Japan that, in 1963, one such venture — the Migra- 
tory Animal Pathological Survey (MAPS) — was launched (McClure 1974). 
Although the ultimate source of funds at times raised political awkwardness 
(see Bourne 1975, for example), through 18 institutes or individuals in 
10 nations of eastern Asia (as defined above) MAPS successfully promoted 
ornithological research based on bird-ringing. During 7 years of funding, 
participanls ringed 1,165,288 birds of 121 8 species. Apart from the records 
of movements provided by over 6000 recoveries, the handling of so many 
birds of itself yielded a quantity of papers on many aspects of ornithology. 

85 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

In Korea, the pioneer national ornithologist was Won Hong-Koo (1887- 
1970). After the division of his country, Dr. Won remained in the north, 
continuing his research from Pyongyang. In South Korea, MAPS funds 
assisted existing (and still continuing) ornithological research led by his 
son, Won Pyong-Oh, director of the Institute of Ornithology at Kyung Hee 
University, Seoul. Won Pyong-Oh, with the support of the Forest Research 
Institute, published in 1969 an annotated checklist (in Korean) and in 1971, 
jointly with the British diplomat M. E. J. Gore, a bilingual handbook of 
the birds of Korea. Despite these developments, in both Koreas ornitho- 
logy remains an academic pursuit rather than a popular movement. 

This is true also in China where, according to the estimate of Professor 
Cheng Tso-Hsin (= Zheng Zuoxin), director of the ornithological division 
of the Peking Zoological Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 
there are 50-100 professional ornithologists and perhaps 200-300 amateurs. 
Because there is no national ornithological organisation, even these figures 
are conjectural (Cheng 1979a). Professor Cheng's own considerable contri- 
bution, in collaboration with the staff of his division, has followed the 
traditions of taxonomic geography. Of the main faunistic works produced, 
Cheng (1973) is available in English but a 1964 checklist (Cheng 1976) and 
the 2 volumes of the handbook so far published (Cheng 1978, 1979b) exist 
only in Chinese. Ornithologists unable to read Chinese script can turn to 
the illustrated work on the non-passerines by F. Etchecopar and the late F. 
Hue (1978); no passerine companion volume is yet available. Vaurie (1972) 
has treated the fauna of Tibet (=Xizang), an area which is at present the 
subject of multi-disciplinary investigation; preliminary results (including 
ornithological studies) will be reported at a symposium sponsored by 
Academia Sinica, to be held in Peking in May 1980. 

For Taiwan, non-nationals have written the most comprehensive classical 
treatment of the island's birds (Hachisuka & Udagawa 1950-51) and recent 
pocket guides (Severinghaus, Kang & Alexander 1970, Severinghaus & 
Blackshaw 1976), with national collaborators in the two last instances. In 
the 1976 New Guide, the authors wrote of an increasing interest in native 
wild birds among many sectors of the community, including scientists and 
students, government agencies and the public in general: 'Bird-watching 
is a popular form of outdoor recreation and outdoor recreation is an in- 
creasingly important industry in Taiwan'. 

In Hong Kong, for years ornithology has been the pursuit of a small 
body of enthusiasts. A natural history society existed until 1941, publishing 
a journal. After the war, the Hong Kong Bird- Watching Society was formed 
and, since 1958, has published an annual report. The major faunistic work 
is that of Herklots (1953, reprinted 1965). This has been updated by succes- 
sive editions of an annotated checklist published by H.K.B.W.S., in i960, 
1966 and — the third and most recent revision — in 1975 by M. A. Webster. 
Webster (1976) has also produced a pocket guide with English text. 

The islands of the Philippines have attracted many ornithological expedi- 
tions. The U.S. administration also built up local collections, unfortunately 
destroyed in World War II. The war was, however, the stimulus for a 
comprehensive guide in the Pacific World series (Delacour & Mayr 1946), 
based chiefly on material in American museums. Among local ornithologists, 
the late C. Manuel, G. Alcasid and D. S. Rabor were prominent post-war; 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 86 

the two last named participated in the MAPS programme. The task of 
preparing an updated review of the avifauna was then undertaken by a 
comparative new-comer, J. E. duPont (1971, 1976). His handsome book 
is essentially an illustrated handlist, lacking information on habits or be- 

In the tragic region of Indochina, recent years have provided few oppor- 
tunities for ornithological study. Service personnel with the U.S. and allied 
forces included several people with ornithological interests, and Wildash 
(1968) took advantage of a diplomatic posting to compile a handbook of 
the birds of South Vietnam, listing 586 species. The region is also covered 
by the profusely illustrated guide by King, Woodcock and Dickinson (1975), 
which treats the whole of continental S. E. Asia. 

Burma, likewise covered by King et al. (1975), has as yet no indigenous 
school of ornithology, although leading personalities, including the head 
of state, take a general interest in wildlife. Fortunately, Smythies (1953) 
brought together all published (and many otherwise unpublished) observa- 
tions from the period before 1948. In time, this attractive book (now out of 
print) will provide a sound base on which local ornithologists will be able 
to build. 

Lying between Burma and Indochina, and stretching from over 2o°N 
to below 6°N, geographical factors give Thailand a rich and varied avifauna, 
currently numbered at 849 species. This drew the attention of the late 
H. G. Deignan, whose studies culminated in a checklist (1963). His publica- 
tions provided the systematic groundwork on which the local naturalist and 
conservationist, Boonsong Lekagul, based his first Bird Guide of Thailand 
(1968), a pocket guide of which he was both author and illustrator. In 
the preparation of the 84 plates depicting 828 species, the author drew 
on his own field work and his important private collection of bird skins. 
Additional impetus to ornithological research in Thailand was provided by 
the transfer of MAPS central office to SEATO headquarters in Bangkok, 
in 1966. With MAPS support, fieldwork initiated by B. King was continued 
and extended by the late Kitti Thonglongya, at the Applied Scientific Research 
Corporation of Thailand (ASRCT). In 1968, Kitti enjoyed the unusual 
experience of trapping a distinctive (and, on zoogeographical grounds, 
unexpected) new bird species, a river martin of a genus (Pseudochelidori) 
previously unknown outside Africa. Records of distribution and habits of 
birds deriving from work done during this period by the professionals at 
SEATO, ASRCT and the Royal Thai Forest Department, together with 
amateurs, were incorporated in the second edition of the Bird Guide (Lekagul 
& Cronin 1974). In Bangkok a small bird-club holds together the amateur 

The most southerly provinces of Thailand show zoogeographical affinity 
with the adjoining states of Peninsular Malaysia. This area (including also 
Singapore) was recognised as a faunistic unit by H. C. Robinson (1927) 
when defining the scope of his projected 5 volume Birds of the Malay Peninsula. 
After the appearance of the first 2 volumes the progress of this enterprise 
was interrupted by Robinson's death (in 1929), and after the next 2 by the 
death of his successor, F. N. Chasen (in 1942). The series was finally com- 
pleted by Medway & Wells (1976) (see also Wells & Medway 1976). In 
this concluding volume, the authors reviewed the recent history of local 

87 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 

ornithology. During the first dozen years after World War II, a handful of 
field ornithologists in Malaya and Singapore worked with high productivity, 
reporting their observations mainlyin the Bulletin of the Raffles (later National) 
Museum, Singapore, or in the Malayan Nature Journal, organ of the Malayan 
Nature Society which had been formed shortly before the onset of war and 
was revived in 1947. The late C. A. Gibson-Hill's checklists (1949, 1950) 
were important publications, providing the taxonomic background for 
A. G. Glenister's book (195 1, reprinted in 1953, 1956 and, with revisions, 
1971). Mist-nets began to be used in significant numbers in 1958-59 and, 
with MAPS support, in 1963 a national bird-ringing project was established 
from a base in the then recently-founded University of Malaya. Since 1962, 
annual bird reports have been published in the Malayan Nature Journal. 
Today, at universities and research institutes in Peninsular Malaysia, orni- 
thology is comparatively strong, involving for instance studies of single 
species, community ecology and energetics. Amateur participation is largely 
coordinated through state branches of the Malayan Nature Society or, as 
in Singapore, a specialised splinter group. 

In 1972 the former Raffles Museum was closed as a centre for biological 
research and its reference collections were transferred to the care of the 
Department of Zoology, University of Singapore. Permanent housing for 
this material has yet to be provided. Included among these collections are the 
important series of bird skins obtained by Robinson, Chasen and their col- 
laborators in the region of western Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and 
Brunei, i.e., the Sunda Shelf. Chasen's own studies led to the production 
of a regional checklist (1935). This in turn provided the taxonomic ground- 
work for another contribution in the Pacific World series, J. Delacour's 
(1947) Birds of Malaysia. In many parts of the Sunda region, this book has 
not yet been superceded. 

Of the Greater Sunda Islands, only Borneo has been the subject of a more 
recent bird book. This was produced in Sarawak, where in 1 947 the incoming 
British administration appointed a keen ornithologist (the late Tom Harris- 
son) to the curatorship of the museum at Kuching. During 1951-54, with 
the financial support of the late Loke Wan Tho — himself a productive ama- 
teur ornithologist — Sarawak museum staff expended considerable effort in 
amassing some 7300 bird skins. In 1956, B. E. Smythies catalogued this 
material. He subsequently drew on this collection, with others in overseas 
museums, to provide data for a checklist (1957) and book (i960, second 
edition in 1968) covering the avifauna of the entire island of Borneo. Cur- 
rently there is no professional ornithologist at work in the Malaysian states 
of Sarawak or Sabah, nor in Brunei, but in all 3 states visitors and resident 
amateurs benefit from the collections held in the state museums and find 
outlets for publication in locally-produced journals {Sarawak Museum Journal \ 
Brunei Museum Journal, and Journal of the Sabah Society). 

In Indonesia, the collections at the Museum Zoologicum at Bogor sur- 
vived both World War II and the turbulent years following the declaration 
of independence. The late A. Hoogerwerf (1949a) published a local guide, 
which is useful in the general region of western Java. Among other works, 
he also contributed two long papers on the oology of Java; these contain 
much information on breeding and breeding seasonality (Hoogerwerf 1949b, 
Hellebrekers & Hoogerwerf 1967). After his death, part of Hoogerwerf s 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 88 

collection went to Bogor, part to the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke 
Historie at Leiden, Netherlands. Here too was deposited the important 
collection of M. Bartels, which provided much of Hoogerwerf's data and 
has also been drawn upon by others, including the Indonesian ornithologist, 
S. Somadikarta. Somadikarta also took part in the MAPS programme, con- 
centrating particularly on the nesting colonies of the cormorants and ardeids 
on Pulau Dua, Banten. 

The zoological journal of the Bogor museum (Treubia) was revived after 
the war, and has published papers on local ornithology. The natural history 
society of Indonesia was also reconstituted for a time in the post-war period. 
Its journal Tropische Natuur was revived in 1952 and survived (from 1954 
under the name Penggemar Alaw) until 1961; the contents included ornitho- 
logical notes. In 1973 a small, Jakarta-based ornithological society was 
formed and in 1975 the first number of its journal Kukila appeared. I have 
been told that a second number was issued in 1976 (W. G. Harvey, per 
comm.), but there has been no further news of this venture and the society 
is now apparently defunct. Simple ornithological texts, including a brief 
pocket guide to commoner birds, exist in the Indonesian national language 
but, despite the sporadic efforts of enthusiastic individuals, the level of 
ornithological activity in Java at present is very low and elsewhere in the 
Republic is negligible. 

The late C. M. N. White left an unfinished checklist of the birds of Wal- 
lacea, i.e. Celebes (^Sulawesi) and the Moluccas. It is hoped that this work 
can be edited and published in due course by the B.O.U., since it would 
be of value to ornithologists working in the central region of Indonesia. 
At the eastern extreme of this huge island nation (and of the sector of the 
world under review), the birds of the province of Irian Jaya (i.e., western 
New Guinea) have been treated by Rand & Gilliard (1967). 

I am grateful to M. E. J. Gore, W. G. Harvey, H. E. McClure and D. R. Wells for the 
provision of information included in this note or for comments on sections of it in draft. 
I apologise sincerely to those ornithologists of eastern Asia, known to me and unknown, 
who may feel that this very superficial review underrates (if not ignores) their particular 


Bourne, W. R. P. 1975. Research in India. Nature y Lond. 253: 86. 
Chasen, F. N. 1935. A handlist of Malaysian birds. Bull. Raffles Mus. 15. 
Cheng Tso-Hsin (ed.) 1963. China's economic fauna. JPRS translation. 

— 1976. {Distributional list of the birds of China). Revised edn. Academy of Sciences, 
Peking. In Chinese. 

— 1978. Fauna Sinica, Aves. Vol. 4: Gallijormes. Science Press. Academia Sinica, 
Peking. In Chinese. 

— 1979a. Ornithology in China. Ibis 121: 409-410. 

— 1979b. Fauna Sinica, Aves. Vol. 2: Anseriformes. Science Press, Academia Sinica, 
Peking. In Chinese. 

Deignan, H. G. 1963. Checklist of the birds of Thailand. Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 226. 
Delacour, J. 1947. Birds of Malaysia. Macmillan: New York. 

— & Mayr, E. 1946. Birds of the Philippines. Macmillan: New York. 
duPont, J. E. 1 97 1. Philippine Birds. Delaware Museum of Natural History. 

— 1976. Additions and corrections to Philippine Birds. Nemouria 17. 

Etchccopar, F. & Hue, F. 1978. Les oiseaux de Chine, de Mongolie et de Coree. Editions du 

Pacifique: Tahiti & Paris. 
Gibson-Hill, C. A. 1949. An annotated checklist of the birds of Malaya. Bull. Raffles Mus. 


— T950. A checklist of the birds of Singapore Island. Bull. Raffles Mus. 21: 132-183. 


89 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Glenister, A. G. 195 1. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore and Penang. Oxford Uni- 
versity Press. 

Gore, M. E. J. & Won, P.-O. 1971. The Birds of Korea. Taewon Publishing Co. & C. E. 
Tuttle, Rutland, Vt., & Tokyo. 

Hachisuka, M. & Udagawa, T. 1950-51. Contributions to the ornithology of Taiwan. 
Quart, f. Taiwan M us. 3 (4): 187-264; 4 (1-2): 1-180. 

Hellebrekers, W. P. J. & Hoogerwerf, A. 1967. A further contribution to our oological 
knowledge of the island of Java (Indonesia). Zool. Verh. y Leiden 88. 

Herklots, G. A. C. 1953. (2nd ed. 1967). Hong Kong Birds. South China Morning Post. 

Hoogerwerf, A. 1949a. De avifauna van Tjibodas en omgeving. K. Plantentuin van Indonesia: 

— 1949b. Bijdrage tot de oologie van Java. Limosa zz: i-z-jj. 

King, B., Woodcock, M. & Dickinson, E. C. 1975. A Field Guide to the Birds of South- 
east Asia. Collins: London. 

Lekagul, Boonsong, 1968. Bird Guide of Thailand. Association for the Conservation of 
Wildlife, Bangkok. 

— & Cronin, E. W., Jr. 1974. Bird Guide of Thailand. 2nd (revised) edn. Association 
for the Conservation of Wildlife, Bangkok. 

McClure, H. E. 1974. Migration and Survival of the Birds of Asia. SEA TO, Bangkok. 
Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 5. Witherby, 

Ornithological Society of Japan, 1975. Checklist of Japanese Birds. 2nd printing. Gakken 

Co: Tokyo. 
Rand, A. L. & Gilliard, E. T. 1967. Handbook of New Guinea Birds. Weidenfeld and Nicol- 

son: London. 
Robinson, H. C. 1927. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. I: The Commoner birds. Witherby: 

Severinghaus, S. R. & Blackshaw, K. T. 1976. A New Guide to the Birds of Taiwan. Mei 

Ya Publications: Taipei. 
— , Kang, K.-W. & Alexander, P. S. 1970. A Guide to the Birds of Taiwan. The China 

Post: Taipei. 
Smythies, B. E. 1953. The Birds of Burma. 2nd edn. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh. 

— 1957- An annotated checklist of the birds of Borneo. Sarawak Mus. J. 7: 523-818. 

— i960. The Birds of Borneo. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh. 
Vaurie, C. 1972. Tibet and its Birds. Witherby: London. 

Webster, M. 1976. A New Guide to the Birds of Hong Kong. Sino-American Publishing Co: 

Hong Kong 
Wells, D. R. & Medway, Lord. 1976. Taxonomic and faunistic notes on birds of the Malay 

Peninsula. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 20-34. 
Wildash, P. 1968. Birds of South Vietnam. C. E. Tuttle: Rutland, Vermont. 

Address: Earl of Cranbrook, Ph.D., Great Glemham House, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 
1) ,P, England. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Developments in Australian ornithology 

by D. L. Serventy 

Ornithology in Australia began with the arrival of the first settlers — in 
1788 in the east with Governor Arthur Phillip's pioneers, and in 1829 in 
the west with Governor James Stirling's Swan River Settlement. But even 
prior to colonisation significant contributions to knowledge had been made 
by the naturalists attached to the great exploring expeditions — mainly 
British and French — in the latter years of the 1 8th Century. The first officials 
and settlers "exhibited a remarkable zest for natural history inquiry. Many 
had shared the vogue for natural history prevalent in England since the 
publication of Gilbert White's Selborne in 1789" and earlier publications. 
Thus the first major books published from these colonies were embellished 
with many fine hand-coloured engravings and useful text concerning 

[Bull.B.O.C. 19S0: 100(1)] 90 

Australia's natural history. The early arrival of the eminent John Gould 
enabled the publication of magnificent volumes on the birds of Australia 
(from 1837 on). 

However an indigenous school of local ornithologists was late in rising. 
After the passing of the first generation settlers their descendants were 
largely pre-occupied with problems of economic survival, allowing little 
leisure for cultural activity. Intellectual pursuits were mostly left to visitors 
and migrants. The first native-born ornithologists to achieve any degree of 
eminence were E. P. Ramsay, in Sydney, who began his bird-studying career 
in the 1850's, and A. J. Campbell, in Melbourne, who recorded his first 
bird foray in 1869. Subsequently both had long and honourable careers, 
the first becoming a professional (at the Australian Museum, Sydney), and 
Campbell remaining an amateur who virtually dominated Australian orni- 
thology until his death in 1929. Since their time ornithology has flourished. 
The first societies were formed around the turn of the century — the South 
Australian Ornithological Association in 1899 and the Royal Australasian 
Ornithologists' Union (to give it its modern name) in 1901, when its journal, 
The Emu, modelled on The Ibis, began publication. 

Most of the serious earlier ornithologists were engrossed with taxonomic 
studies, in the classical manner, and occupied themselves with collecting, 
both skins and eggs. When these activities passed into desuetude during the 
1930's, owing to the increasing pressure of conservation feeling in the 
community at large, ornithology remained at a stage of elementary life 
history study hardly advanced since the Gilbert White era. Most workers 
were amateurs and for the most part only medical practitioners possessed 
any scientific knowledge. University zoologists on the whole remained aloof 
from ornithological investigations. 

A subtle change came over the ornithological scene in the years after 
the Second World War. An increasing number of younger University and 
Museum research workers chose birds as fitting subjects for study. There 
was renewed attention to taxonomic investigation on modern lines, notably 
by Allen Keast (a pupil of Ernst Mayr) and Herbert Condon; ecological 
studies in the field achieved a degree of sophistication equalling overseas 
effort, by the establishment of a national ringing scheme, tardily begun in 
the early 1950's; laboratory physiological studies, to complement field work 
were introduced by the late A. J. ("Jock") Marshall. Marshall continued 
at Oxford and London and stimulated studies abroad as well as in Australia, 
his influence evoking a tribute by British colleagues, B. Lofts and R. K. 
Murton, for "his ability to relate laboratory experimentation to the natural 
environment". This vigorous invasion of the ornithological field by academic 
workers caused more than a ripple in the ornithological societies, which had 
remained in the control of devotees of the old school. 

The Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union, in particular, was affected 
by these winds of change. Its leaders were handicapped additionally by the 
fetters of an outworn and unwieldy system of government; the council 
numbered at times some 40 members scattered over the continent. Fortu- 
nately the discerning President of the day appointed a review committee 
to recommend reforms. It reported in 1966 and 1968, proposing drastic 
changes in internal control and future policy. Though unpalatable to some 
of the old guard the report was adopted. The reformed Union decided to 

91 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

concentrate "on basic aims befitting a leading ornithological society in 
the country" and to "follow its traditional beacon", the B.O.U., to upgrade 
its standards to conform with that body's alignment with the new orni- 
thology of the present day. 

The Union is now governed by a small council, a happy blend of amateur, 
professional and academically trained ornithologists. The achievements of 
ornithologists at large, in universities, museums, government departments, 
and laymen "in private practice", as it were, now bear comparison with 
those of most overseas countries. The standards reached may be gauged 
by the published proceedings of the XVI International Ornithological 
Congress held in Canberra in 1974 and the personal impressions of the 
visiting participants. 

A vivid survey of the results of ornithological studies in Australia has 
been prepared for the general reader by Ian Rowley in his book, Bird Life 
(Collins Australian Naturalists Library, Sydney, 1974, a series modelled on 
the same publisher's British New Naturalist volumes). Here are reviewed 
recent studies on several Australian birds indicating the variety of tesearch 
now being carried out in Australia. For instance Rowley's book describes 
a phenomenon peculiarly well developed in Australia, that of group living. 
He pays a tribute to the pioneering studies of this modification of the terri- 
tory theory by the amateur, Angus Robinson, of Coolup Western Australia, 
in his studies of the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhind), and describes its 
varied occurence in other genera, where the advantage of groups over 
conventional pairs is shown to be dependent on environmental circumstances. 

Among the more spectacular recent happenings in Australian ornithology 
was the re-discovery in December 1961, in Western Australia, of the long- 
lost supposedly extinct Noisy Scrub-bird Atrichornis clamosus. This little- 
known primitive Passerine, distantly allied to the lyre-bird Menura of the 
eastern states, had not been seen since 1889. The announcement of its 
survival, in a small isolated peninsula east of Albany, caused a flurry of 
excitement, which ultimately involved Royalty. A holiday settlement had 
been planned nearby and this, it was feared, would place the little colony 
in jeopardy. H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was in Perth the 
following year to open the Empire Games, and he took a keen interest in 
the preservation of the species. His influence proved decisive; the new 
town site was cancelled, the area was made a reserve, and a detailed research 
programme was initiated on the bird's ecology and comparative morphology. 
When the results are fully published it may be confidently claimed that the 
species will qualify as the best-known species on the Australian list. The 
life history was exhaustively studied in the field by Dr. Graeme Smith of 
the Division of Wildlife Research of the CSIRO. Included in his investiga- 
tions was a study of captive individuals in an enclosure at the Wildlife 
Division's laboratory near Perth, where distinguished V.I.P.'s, including 
Sir Peter Scott, have been taken to see the birds, and where in October 
1979 a fledgling had been reared from the egg. This difficult achievement 
with a secretive species living in a specialised and exacting habitat, offered 
hope, according to Dr. Smith, that it would be possible to rehabilitate the 
species by relocating birds in other suitable places in the wild — including 
islands. Not only in Australia were significant finds forthcoming concerning 
Atrichornis. In 1973 Mr. Ederic Slater of the CSIRO. when searching old 

[Bitll.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 92 

documents at the British Museum (Natural History) at South Kensington, 
unearthed hitherto unknown reports by John Gilbert (Gould's "man in 
Western Australia"), reporting occurrences of the species in 1843. It is 
now becoming clear how greatly the range of the species has become frag- 
mented following the start of European settlement in 1829, since when it 
has become restricted to a colony of only some 70 breeding pairs, which 
fortunately is flourishing and may even be extending. This reduction in 
range appears to have been a continuing process since earlier times, since 
it is believed that the birds which the Dutch navigator Willem Ylaming 
in 1697 recorded as Nightingales Luscinia megarhyncos, from their song, on 
the Swan River, near where the city of Perth now stands, were most likely 
Noisy Scrub-birds. To European ears the loud penetrating song of the Noisy 
Scrub-bird is amazingly similar to that of the Nightingale. 

Atrichornis is not the only exciting re-discovery. Several species which 
had eluded searchers for many years past have come to light during the 
past couple of decades. The Eyrean Grass-Wren Amytornis goyderi of the 
South Australian arid interior has been found again. The Black Grass-Wren 
A. housei of the Kimberleys, which had not been re-located since its original 
discovery in 1901, was found again by Major Brian McDonald Booth, 
leader of the 5th Harold Hall Expedition of the British Museum, in 1968, 
and subsequently was found to be quite plentiful — once its appropriate 
habitat was recognised. The latest re-discovery was of the long-lost Night 
Parrot Pe^oporus occidentalis. In 1979 Mr. Shane Parker, formerly of the 
British Museum and now of the South Australian Museum, saw a Night 
Parrot when he was on camel back on safari in the interior. When he alighted 
he was unable to pick up the bird, but he is confident it was a Night Parrot, 
which has not certainly been identified this century. Other than the three 
island forms of the Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae, which were exterminated 
very early after European settlement, no Australian bird can now be un- 
equivocally claimed to be extinct. The mainland Emu remains so abundant 
in various parts as to be considered locally, as in Western Australia, a 
potential pest species. 

In taxonomy most new forms were described long ago, particularly 
during the Gregory Mathews era (his new names figure prominently in 
the Bulletin during the 1920's and 1930's). However, localised new species 
still continue to be found, the latest being the Hall Babbler Pomatostomus 
halli described in 1964. Recent proposals by some ornithologists have lumped 
well-known species into smaller groupings and conversely have elevated 
some subspecies into full species. The latest such "new" species was a 
White-tailed Black Cockatoo — Carnaby's Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus 
latriostris — following a revision by Dr. Denis Saunders. 

The R.A.O.U. itself now functions like a lusty, re-invigorated giant. It 
has been successful in raising relatively enormous funds, unheard of in past 
times; it has acquired teal estate, which will, it is hoped become the nucleus 
of a future institute of Australian ornithology; it has set in being an Atlas 
Scheme which has captured the imagination of multitudes of amateur 
observers, and engaged in other forms of co-operative effort, enrolling 
the many informed amateuis. In fact co-operative programmes seem to be 
absorbing the energies of most amateurs to the detriment of their engage- 
ment in individual projects in which amateurs can often out-perform the 

93 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

professional. Professionals and academics are usually restricted to projects 
controlled by more or less rigid time schedules. However the pendulum is 
likely to swing. 

The history of Australian ornithology to 1850, and a full bibliographic 
record to 1950, has been lucidly written by Major H. M. Whittell in his The 
Literature of Australian Birds (Perth, 1954). A series of papers by myself 
outlining aspects of the development of Australian ornithology, have ap- 
peared in the Emu: 37 (1937): 14-18; 72(1972): 41-50; 73 (1973): 206-209, and 
in the. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia,, 62 (1979): 33-43. Stephen 
Marchant, editor of the Emu, has published a critical history of that journal 
and an appraisal of its contributors and their contributions in the Emu: 72, 
(1972): 51-69. 

Address: Dr. D. L. Serventy, 27 Everett Street, Nedlands, Western Australia 6009. 
© British Ornithologists' Club 

New Zealand Ornithology during the past 50 years 

by John A. Gibb 

New Zealand's unique geological history still shows in our avifauna and 
hence in New Zealand ornithology. Though separated from the rest of 
Gondwanaland some 200 million years ago, these islands possess archaic 
survivors from the distant past - by virtue of long and remote isolation. 
These may be seen in our forests, likened to those of the Mesozoic and visited 
by northern biologists as on a pilgrimage (Fleming 1977): in the tuatara 
(Sphenodon), native frogs (Leiopelma), and birds, e.g. the kiwis {Apteryx spp.), 
and in one of the two native bats (Mystacina), sole member of an endemic 
family. The New Zealand region spans the Southern Ocean from the Kerm- 
adecs at 29.5°S to Macquarie I. at 5 5°S; it displays penguins with parrots, 
and over 5 o species of the Procellariidae, with fewer than half this number of 
native passerines. Thus we are concerned for the survival of a small number 
of land birds, many of them endemic, and a great array of sea birds, through 
times of drastic environmental change. 

The isolation that excluded other mammals from New Zealand also 
excluded man until Polynesians arrived only about 1000 years ago. The 
Maori burned some forest from drier parts of the country, ate some birds, 
and contributed to the demise of the moas before the first whalers sailed 
New Zealand waters in the late 18th century. In less than 200 years of 
European occupation New Zealand has lost 11J million hectares of forest 
and in the process, 5 species and 5 subspecies of birds have become extinct 
(Williams 1962). During the past 50 years the extinction of the Laughing Owl 
Sceloglaux albifacies, Huia Heteralocha acutirostris and probably of the New 
Zealand Thrush Turnagra capensis has been confirmed beyond reasonable 
doubt. Many others have either remained very rare or have become much 
rarer : Apteryx oweni, Anas aucklandica, Notomis mantelli, Himantopus novae^eal- 
andiae, Strigops habroptilus, Cyanoramphus malherbi, Xenicus longipes, Petroica 
tr aver si, Philesturnus carunculatus , Callaeas cinerea and Notiomystis cincta. 

The wholesale clearance of lowland forest has been the most serious cause 
of these reductions. Introduced ungulates and the Australian marsupial 
Trichosurus vulpecula have also thinned the remaining forest and reduced its 
crops of fruit; while feral cats, mustelids and rodents have all been powerful 
predators on native birds lacking natural defences against them. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 94 

A few small off-shore and outlying islands remain precariously inviolate, 
the last refuge of some vulnerable species. Biologists are fighting a rear- 
guard action to keep these islands free of the offending mammals, and even 
to remove such predators from others already infested. The riddance of cats 
from Cuvier I., for example, has enabled the Wildlife Service to re-establish 
saddlebacks {Philesturnus) there. The brave transfer of the world population 
OcTcT* 2 ??) °f Black Robins Petroica tr aver si from Little Mangere to nearby 
Mangere I. in the Chathams, both free of mammals, was justified by the 
shrinking patch of coastal forest where the survivors were cornered. 

Faced with continuing demands for the little remaining lowland forest on 
the mainland, conservationists confront sawmillers with requests to set up a 
network of reserves. Some of the principles of island biogeography, lately 
extended to continental 'island' habitats, are being applied to the design of 
these biological reserves (Diamond 1975), but not even a generous spread of 
reserves can stop all further extinctions, as the existing avifauna is still 
adjusting to the present restricted distribution of suitable habitats. 

Petrels and shearwaters used to breed on mountain ranges far inland, but 
most no longer do so - presumably because of predation by mustelids, cats 
and rats. Their plight is less desperate than that of the land birds because they 
also breed on islands and their food supply is not yet endangered - so far we 
have not experienced severe oil spills in New Zealand waters. 

The past 50 years have seen a steady accumulation of knowledge about 
New Zealand sea birds. Richdale's (1957) study of Megadyptes antipodes 
remains a classic. Current studies of Diomedia epomophora at Taiaroa Head, 
near Dunedin, and on subantarctic Campbell I., and of Sula bassana at Cape 
Kidnappers in the North Island, are revealing the demography of these long- 
lived birds. Other breeding studies, together with systematic surveys of the 
islands and well-organised beach patrols for stranded corpses (a New Zealand 
specialty), are rewarding. Highlights include the finding of the breeding 
place of Puffinus huttoni 1000 m above sea level in the Seaward Kaikoura 
Range in 1 96 5, and the recent discovery oiPterodroma magentae, probably breed- 
ing in the Chathams. Following Dr OrbelPs rediscovery of Notornis in 1948, 
such events have enlivened the otherwise rather sombre ornithological scene. 

Colonisation of New Zealand, principally from Australia, has accelerated 
in historical times. The present phase began with the take-over by Zosterops 
lateralis in the mid 19th century: they now occupy all but the bleakest of 
habitats and could claim to be our commonest species. The following 10 
species have become established breeders in the last 50 years: Platalea 
leucorodia, since about 1950, though it has not bred for the last 2 years; 
Ardea novaehollandiae since about 1940, now common; Fulica atra, first con- 
firmed in 1958, now widespread but local; Lobibyx novaehollandiae, breeding 
since 1947 and still spreading; Charadrius melanops, since 1954 and still 
spreading; Cacatua galerita, probably an escape, now established locally; 
Platycercus eximius, an escape firmly established in several districts; Dacelo 
gigas, introduced Kawau I., off Auckland, 1860-80, now also on the adjacent 
mainland ; Pycnonotus cafer, an escape now exterminated ; Hirundo tahitica, first 
bred in 1958, now widespread and common. During this same period, wader 
enthusiasts have added nearly 20 new Arctic species to the New Zealand list. 

Some 34 species were deliberately introduced and spread by man. Though 
none has won such popular affection as the darling natives, the countryside 

95 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

would seem empty without them; on the other hand, farmers would be 
deprived of several species commonly regarded as pests (e.g. House Sparrow, 
Starling, Indian Myna, Rook). The only recent introduction, of Perdix 
perdix in the early 1960s, seems to have failed. 

The second (1955) edition of Oliver's New Zealand Birds stood for 1 1 years 
before Falla, Sibson & Turbott wrote the first field guide in the Peterson 
tradition. The same authors have now produced a much improved 'New 
Guide' (1979), which appeared, sadly, just after Sir Robert Falla's death. 
Kinsky's (1970) 'Annotated Checklist' is also being revised. These volumes, 
with Turbott's (1967) Buller's Birds of New Zealand, form the nucleus of 
every New Zealand ornithologist's library. 

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society boasts much the largest 
membership among our natural history societies, and is politically active in 
the cause of conservation. The Ornithological Society of New Zealand 
organises regional as well as national meetings, publishes Notornis quarterly, 
runs the nest record scheme, and promotes various enquiries; it steers clear 
of politics. The Society initiated the bird-banding scheme now run by the 
Wildlife Service. A highly ambitious achievement has been the production 
of a provisional atlas of bird distribution (Bull et al. 1978), which did well to 
cover 85% of the 3675 10,000-yard map squares comprising New Zealand. 
A definitive atlas with even better coverage may be produced in about 1980. 

Fifty years ago almost all ornithological publications came either from the 
museums or from amateurs. New Zealand has shared the strong post-war 
swing towards professionalism that has grown up alongside amateur 
ornithology. Ornithologists now find employment (if they are lucky) in the 
Wildlife Service, the museums, DSIR Ecology Division, or in the universities. 

Notable research has been done on the moas and other extinct and flightless 
birds (e.g. Archey 1941, Oliver 1949); on the age and origins of the biota 
(Fleming 1975); on the distribution and status of native land birds and their 
adaptation to a changing environment, and on the biology of sea birds here 
and in Antarctica, by numerous New Zealand ornithologists. Modern 
single-species studies, research on the development of dialects in Vhilesturnus 
(P. Jenkins unpubl.), and on the species diversity of island habitats, reinforce 
the prospect that New Zealanders will keep up with the frontiers of ornitho- 
logy. There will be more extinctions and more additions to the avifauna. 
Study of their evolutionary implications may be as important a contribution 
to knowledge in the next 50 years as it has been in the past. 

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Drs. Peter Bull and John Flux for advice in writing 
this short review. 

References : 

Archey, G. 1941. The Moa - a study of the Dinornithiformes. Bull. Auck. Inst. Mus. 1 : 

Bull, P. C, Gaze, P. D. & Robertson, C. J. R. 1978. Bird Distribution in New Zealand: a 

provisional atlas 1969-1976. Ornith. Society N.Z. Inc. Wellington. 
Diamond, J. M. 1975. The island dilemma: lessons of modern geographic studies for the 

design of natural reserves. Biol. Conservation 7 : 1 29-46. 
Falla, R. A., Sibson, R. B. & Turbott, E. G. 1979. The New Field Guide to the Birds of New 

Zealand. Collins : Auckland and London. 
Fleming, C. A. 1975. The geological history of New Zealand and its biota. In Biogeography 

and Ecology in New Zealand, Ed. G. Kuschel. Junk : The Hague. 
Fleming, C. A. 1977. The history of life in New Zealand forests. N.Z.Jl. For. 22: 249-62. 
Kinsky, F. C. 1970. Annotated Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, including the Birds of the 

Ross Dependency. A. H. and A. W. Reed : Wellington. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 


Oliver, W. R. B. 1949. The moas of New Zealand and Australia. Dominion Mus. Bull. 15 : 

Oliver, W. R. B. 195 5 . New Zealand Birds. A. H. and A. W. Reed : Wellington. 
Richdale, L. E. 195 7. A Population Study of Penguins. Oxford University Press. 
Turbott, E. G. 1967. Butler's Birds of New Zealand. Whitcombe and Tombs: Christchurch, 

Williams, G. R. 1962. Extinction and the land- and freshwater-inhabiting birds of New 

Zealand. Notornis 10: 15-32. 

Address: Dr. J. A. Gibb, Ecology Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial 
Research, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Recent trends in sub-Antarctic ornithology 

by John Warham 
In this review the sub-Antarctic is considered to be the region of the South- 
ern Ocean between the sub-Tropical and Antarctic Convergences (Figure 1). 
Various island groups within this zone provide important breeding sites fo r 
large numbers of seabirds. Smaller numbers of landbirds are also resident, 
some of endemic status. 



Vtic OCBJ^^P, AmBBmA 

Fig. 1. The Southern Ocean showing mean positions of Sub-Tropical and Antarctic 

97 [Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(1)] 

Up to World War II, sub-Antarctic ornithologists were mainly concerned 
with the numbers and distribution of species and with the collection of 
specimens. These activities have continued up to the present time and we 
are still counting, mapping, preparing inventories and unravelling the main 
strands of life histories. Little experimental work has been attempted, less 
indeed than in the Antarctic, for, paradoxically, the latter region is more 
accessible than are most islands of the sub-Antarctic zone. Much of the work 
on birds has been directly or indirectly supported by interested governments 
and this seems likely to continue following declarations of exclusive economic 
zones (E.E.Z.). New Zealand, for example, has declared an E.E.Z. embracing 
all her southern islands - the fifth largest zone in the world. 

The birds of these southern islands have evolved in the absence of placental 
mammals and are very vulnerable to alien introductions. Only recently have 
efforts been made to collect firm data on these effects. At Kerguelen, Lesel & 
Derenne (1975) and at Macquarie Island, Jones (1977) examined cat predation 
and Challies (1975) at Auckland Island that of feral pigs. From analyses of 
stomachs and faeces Jones estimated that Macquarie's 375 cats eat 47,000 of 
the prion Pachyptila desolata and 11,000 White-headed Petrels Pterodroma 
lessoni annually. 

The French have made a major contribution to sub- Antarctic ornithology. 
They have continued the descriptive work but have also done some physio- 
logical and experimental studies such as those on thermo-regulation in 
penguins. Mougin (1972, 1974), for instance, found that while deep body 
temperatures are very constant, foot and flipper temperatures vary in 
accordance with their role as heat radiators, and that fairly high internal 
temperatures (39.i°C) are powered by burning fat reserves which, in the 
King Penguin Aptenodjtes patagonica involves a loss of 1.7% of body weight 
per day, and an even greater loss in smaller species. 

French studies of seabirds are notable for the emphasis placed on macro- 
and micro-climates of colony- and nest-sites. Many population estimates and 
distribution maps have been produced, not only for colonial species but for 
territorial ones like Southern Skuas Catharacta skua lonnbergi. Nesting success 
has been determined by recording losses at various stages of the breeding 
cycles and data collected on the attainment of homeothermy by chicks. Some 
syntheses have also been presented, notably on the ecology of the Procel- 
lariidae by Mougin (1975) and by Barrat & Mougin (1974) on the zoogeo- 
graphy of Southern Ocean seabirds. Little has been done on behaviour but 
Jouventin (1978) examined the comparative ethology of penguins, his work 
complementing that of Warham (1975) and of Smith (1974), who made an 
ethological analysis of the Royal Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus schlegeli. 

The large Kerguelen Archipelago has been inhabited since 1950, but 
reports on the birds have been few since the early accounts of Milon & 
Jouanin (1953) and the very comprehensive study of Paulian (1953), then the 
most detailed for any sub- Antarctic island. These have been brought up to 
date by Derenne et al. (1974). Perhaps their most interesting finding is the 
inter-breeding of the Kerguelen Shag Phalacrocorax verrucosus and the King 
Shag P. albiventer, indicating that these should be regarded as conspecifics. 

In warmer seas the avifaunas of the islands of St. Paul and New Amsterdam 
were virtually unknown until Segonzac's paper (1972). He found small 
numbers of Yellow-nosed Mollymawks Viomedea chlororhynchos breeding on 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980:100(1)] 98 

St. Paul whereas the Amsterdam Island's 15,000 pairs is evidently the 
largest known of this species. Segonzac also confirmed the nesting at 
St. Paul of the Fleshy-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes, whose time- 
table appears to be similar to that of the Western Australian popula- 

In recent years the main thrust of the French sub-Antarctic research in our 
field has been in the Crozet Archipelago. The birds of He des Cochons, He de 
l'Est and He de la Possession have been described. Some smaller islands have 
still to be examined. This group is very important for seabirds, supporting 
populations of Rockhopper and Macaroni Penguins E. chrysocome and 
E. c. chrysolophus of around 940,000 pairs (Derenne et al. 1976). Albatrosses 
also flourish there with some 7000 Diomedea exulans breeding on He des 
Cochons alone (Mougin 1970a). Among other petrels there are large popula- 
tions of prions Pachjptila spp. and other burro wers. Sheathbills Chionis major 
also occur, as do also small numbers of the relict duck Anas eatoni. 

Mougin's (1970b) work on the sibling sooty albatrosses Phoebetriafusca and 
P. palpebrata which nest sympatrically on Possession Island, established 
that they occupied distinct colonies without inter-breeding and with fusca 
laying about 14 days earlier than palpebrata. He also undertook an ecological 
study of the Kerguelen Petrel Pterodroma brevirostris which threw light on 
what had been one of the world's least known seabirds (Mougin 1969). Data 
on the Crozet Island King Penguins add to Stonehouse's earlier long-term 
study at South Georgia. Barrat (1976) found that the Crozet Island chicks 
have the same winter decline in weight but that successful pairs may possibly 
breed every 2 years instead of every 3 as at South Georgia. Southern Skua 
studies by Barre (1976) provide new data on measurements and breeding 
ecology of this familiar but rather neglected bird. Derenne et. al. (1976) 
also mapped the King Shag colonies around all 3 of the larger islands. Their 
paper gives new data on body weights and other measurements, on the 
climatic conditions at the colony sites and on the annual cycles. 

The British effort in Southern Ocean ornithology has been concentrated 
mainly at Signy Island and South Georgia, both in the Antarctic Zone and 
hence beyond the scope of this review. Further north, at Gough Island and 
Tristan da Cunha rather little research has appeared since the base-line 
papers of Elliott (1957) and of Swales (1965). The interesting endemics - 
flightless moorhen, rail and the finches - have evidently not been studied in 
detail in the field although Gallinula nesiotis has been widely bred in captivity. 
The giant petrels of Gough Island are not numerous. They are presumably 
M. halli but good descriptions of their plumage and soft parts are badly 
needed. The same is true of those from the Falkland Islands. 

The Falkland's birds include some endemics, e.g. the Flightless Steamer 
Duck Tachyeres brachypterus, and many endemic sub-species, but little detailed 
work has been published since Cawkell & Hamilton's annotated list (1961). 
Much ringing of Black-browed Mollymawks D. melanophrys has been done 
in this group and many recoveries made. The handbook by Woods (1975) 
provides a useful summary of present knowledge. Some changes have been 
recorded, e.g. the establishment of Sooty and Greater Shearwaters Puffinus 
griseus and P. gravis and Macaroni Penguins as breeders. The fate of these 
latter krill-eaters will be interesting following the decline in whale stocks and 
the development of a krill-harvesting industry. From the one brief description, 

99 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

the 400-acre Beauchene Island, well to the south of the main group, ap- 
pears to be a major seabird sanctuary (Strange 1965). 

Macquarie Island, politically part of Tasmania, has been occupied con- 
tinually since 1948. Initially bird studies mostly involved the ringing of 
albatrosses and giant petrels. More detailed work started in the 1960's, 
including the major long-term study of a sub-Antarctic bird, the Royal 
Penguin, 19,097 of which were flipper-banded. Carrick (1972) followed the 
life histories of individual birds and found, inter alia, that the minimum 
weight of a newly arrived male had to be 4.6 kg for it to hold a nest, while 
for a female to lay she had to scale 4.8 kg on arrival, the weight of the 
fledgling being significantly related to that of its female parent on landing. 
Carrick placed great emphasis on social status as a factor in the regulation 
of the population. 

Other birds investigated at this island include the White-headed Petrel 
and the giant petrels (Warham 1967, 1962). The discovery that Macronectes 
consists of 2 sibling species, giganteus of the maritime Antarctic and halli of 
the sub- Antarctic, arose from the latter work. Both species breed in different 
places at different times at Macquarie Island (Bourne & Warham 1966). 
Subsequent Australian, French and South African investigations have 
confirmed these findings and at Crozet (Voisin 1976) and Marion Island 
(Zinderen Bakker 1971a) and even at South Georgia both also breed sympa- 
trically. A long-term study of the biennial breeding albatross Phoebetria 
palpebrata by E. Kerry is in preparation. Other specialised papers include 
Shaughnessy's (1975, 1970) work on the phenotypes of the Royal Penguin 
and of the genetics of the Southern Giant Petrel, but no up-to-date account 
of the Macquarie Island birds as a whole has appeared and in recent years 
ornithological research there has been reduced. 

New Zealand has care of many sub- Antarctic islands but only the Chathams 
are inhabited. Most post-war research arose from privately-financed and 
university expeditions such as the Denver Museum's to Campbell Island 
(Bailey & Sorensen 1962) and a series organised from the University of 
Canterbury to the Snares (1 961-1977) and to Antipodes Island in 1969. 
Recently government departments have organised comprehensive summer- 
time visits to the Auckland Islands (1972-73) and to the Bounties and 
Antipodes Island (1978) with many to the Chatham Islands. A notable effort 
has been D. Crockett's privately-financed searches for the Chatham Island 
Taiko, probably Pterodroma magentae. He rediscovered the bird in 1978 and 
more specimens were seen and handled, without nests being discovered, in 

From the Snares Islands data on nest site and mate tenacity in Buller's 
Molly mawk D. bulleri have been presented by Richard & Warham (1973). 
Some of the birds have bred for at least 29 years. General studies of seabirds 
on the Snares include work on the Mottled Petrel Pterodroma inexpectata 
(Warham et al. 1977), on the Cape Petrel Daption capense (Sagar 1979) and on 
the Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata (Sagar 1978). The bleeding biology of the 
Snares Penguin Eudyptes robustus was studied over several years by Warham 
(1974) and, together with similar work on other eudyptids, E. c. schlegeli, E. 
chrysocome and E. sclateri elsewhere in the sub-Antarctic (Warham 1971, 1963, 
1972b), provide a useful basis for further work. The most widespread of these 
crested penguins, the Rockhopper, breeds between 3 6° and 5 3°S and the 

[Bull.B.O.C. icjSo: 100(1)] ioo 

laying dates correlate well with annual sea temperature, those at Tristan da 
Cunha and Gough Island (i5°C) laying about 10 weeks earlier than those at 
Kerguelen(2.5°C) (Warham 1972a). Warham(i975) has also summarised the 
Crested Penguin work and described some vocalisations. 

A major discovery of the 1972-73 Auckland Islands Expedition was an 
estimated 7000 pairs of Wandering Albatrosses breeding there annually, 
making this the major breeding concentration with some 37% of the world 
population (Robertson 1975). These birds are also abundant at Antipodes 
Island with perhaps 900 breeding pairs each year (Warham & Bell, 1979), 
but these and the few at Campbell Island have much darker breeding plumage 
than those elsewhere. These, and the Auckland Island birds are also smaller 
than those of high-latitudes, but the Auckland Wanderers are not dark 
plumaged, so that even within the New Zealand region there appear to be 
several distinct populations. 

Research from this part of the sub-Antarctic includes some specialised 
studies like that of Imber & Russ (1975) on the foods of albatrosses based on 
the identifications of squid beaks and the comparative ecological work of 
Taylor (1975 and in prep.) on the parrots Cyanorhamphus unicolor and C. 
novae seelandiae breeding at Antipodes Island where both appear to thrive 
despite the very restricted resources of a mere 2000 ha. Other recent work 
has been on the Auckland Island Teal Anas aucklandica (Weller 1975) who has 
also written (1972) accounts of some wildfowl from the Falklands. 

A major finding of the South Africans in the sub- Antarctic was the 
existence of a substantial number of Yellow-nosed Mollymawks at Prince 
Edward Island (Zinderen Bakker 1971b). Among other published work 
from Marion and Prince Edward Islands is a study of the body composition 
and energy metabolism of moulting crested penguins by Williams etal. (1977) 
and a survey of behaviour in the Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua (Zinderen 
Bakker 1971c). 

Continuing programmes will no doubt increase the accuracy of species 
lists and throw up surprises like the Soft-plumaged Petrels Pterodroma mollis 
at Antipodes Island (Warham & Bell 1979) and the discovery of breeding 
South Georgian Diving Petrels Pelecanoides georgicus on Codfish Island near 
Stewart Island (Imber, pers. comm.). The prognosis for further research in 
the sub-Antarctic seems good, partly because of the need to police economic 
zones, so that more transport may be available. Hopefully there will be 
attempts to find out more about seabirds at sea, for although many transects 
have been published, these are difficult to evaluate and standardisation of 
methods seems essential. Recent examples are those of Johnstone (1974) 
and Johnstone & Kerry (1976) whose findings included that the 2 sibling 
giant petrels do tend to segregate in summer as predicted by Bourne & 
Warham (1966), giganteus being commonest south of the Antarctic Converg- 
ence, halli to the north, but non-breeders of both species shift north in the 

References : 

Bailey, A. M. & Sorensen, J. H. 1962. Subantarctic Campbell Island. Denver Mus. Nat. Hist. 

Proc. No. 10. 
Barrat, A. 1976. Quelques aspects de la biologie et de l'ecologie du Manchot Royal 

(Aptenodytes patagonicus) des lies Crozet. C.N.F.R.A. 40: 9-52. 
Barrat, A. & Mougin, J. L. 1974. Donnees numeriques sur la zoogeographie de l'avifaune 

antarctiqueet subaiitarctique.CAT'./ 7 ./?.^. 33: 1-24. 

ioi [BuII.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Barre, H. 1976. Le Skua subantarctique Stercorarius skua lonnbergi (Mathews) a Pile de la 

Possession (lies Crozet). C.N. F.R.A. 40: 77-105. 
Bourne, W. R. P. & Warham, J. 1966. Geographical variation in the giant petrels of the 

genus Macronectes. Ardea 54: 45-67. 
Carrick, R. 1972. Population ecology of the Australian Black-backed Magpie, Royal 

Penguin and Silver Gull. pp. 41-99 in Population Ecology of Migratory Birds. U.S. Fish 

and Wildl. Service, Wildlife Rep. 2. Washington. 
Cawkell, E. M. & Hamilton, J. E. 1961. The birds of the Falkland Islands. Ibis 103a: 1-27. 
Challies, C. N. 1975. Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) on Auckland Island: status, and effects on 

vegetation and nesting sea birds. N.Z.J. Zool. 2 : 479-490 . 
Derenne, P., Lufbery, J. X., & Tollu, B. 1974. L'avifaune de l'Archipel Kerguelen. 

C.N.F.R.A. 40: 107-148. 
Elliott, H. F. I. 1957. A contribution to the ornithology of the Tristan da Cunha group. 

Ibis 99: 545-586. 
Imber, M. J. & Russ, R. 1975. Some foods of the Wandering Albatross {Diomedea exulans). 

Nolo mis 22 : 27-36. 
Jones, E. 1977. Ecology of the Feral Cat, Felis catus(L.), (Carnivora: Felidae) on Macquarie 

Island. Aust. Wildl. Res. 4: 249-262. 
Johnstone, G. W. 1974. Field characters and behaviour at sea of giant petrels in relation to 

their oceanic distribution. Emu 74 : 209-2 18. 
Johnstone, G. W. & Kerry, K. R. 1976. Ornithological observations in the Australian 

sector of the Southern Ocean, pp. 725-738 in Proc. 16th. Inter. Ornithol. Congr. Canberra. 
Jouventin, P. 1978. Ethologie compares des Spbeniscides. Doctorate thesis, Univ. Sciences et 

Techniques de Languedoc. 
Lesel, R. & Derenne, P. 1975. Introducing animals to Kerguelen. Polar Rec. 17: 485-494. 
Milon, P. & Jouanin, C. 1953. Contribution a l'ornithologie de Pile Kerguelen. UOiseaux 

Mougin, J. L. 1969. Notes ecologiques sur le Petrel de Kerguelen Pterodroma brevirostris de 

Pile de la Possession (Archipel Crozet). UOiseaux 39 : No. Spec. 5 8-8 1 . 

— 1970a. Observations ecologiques sur les grand albatros {Diomedea exulans) del Tie 
de la Possession (Archipel Crozet) en 1968. UOiseaux 40 No. Spec. : 16-36. 

— 1970b. Les albatros fuligineux Pboebetria palpebrata et P.fusca de Pile de la Possession 
(Archipel Crozet). UOiseaux 40 No. Spec. : 37-61. 

— 1972. Enregistrements continus de temperatures internes chez quelques Spheniscidae. 
I - Le Manchot Papou Pygoscelis papua de Pile de la Possession (Archipel Crozet). 
UOiseaux 42 No. Spec. : 84-1 10. 

— 1974- Enregistrements continus de temperatures internes chez quelques Sphenis- 
cidae. II - Le Manchot Royal Aptenodytes patagonica de Pile de la Possession (Archipel 
Crozet). C.N.F.R.A. 33 : 29-56. 

— 1975. Ecologie comparee des Procellariidae Antarctiques et Subantarctiques. 
C.N.F.R.A. 36:1-195. 

Paulian, P. 1953. Pinnipedes, Cetaces, Oiseaux des lies Kerguelen et Amsterdam. Mem. 
Inst. Sci. Madagascar. Ser. A 8 : 1 1 1-234. 

Richdale, L. E. & Warham, J. 1973. Survival, pair bond retention and nest-site tenacity in 
Buller's Mollymawk. Ibis 115: 25 7-263. 

Robertson, C. J. R. 1975. Report on the distribution, status and breeding biology of the 
Royal Albatross, Wandering Albatross and White-capped Mollymawk on the Auck- 
land Islands, pp. 143-1 jiin Preliminary results of the Auckland Islands Expedition 1972-73. 
N.Z. Dept. Lands & Survey, Wellington. 

Sagar, P. M. 1978. Breeding of Antarctic Terns at Snares Islands, New Zealand. Notornis 

— 1979- Breeding of the Cape Pigeon (Daption capense) at the Snares Islands. Notornis 
26: 23-36. 

Segonzac, M. 1972. Donnees recentes sur la faune des lies Saint-Paul et Nouvelle Amster- 
dam. UOiseaux 42 No. Spec. : 3-68. 

Shaughnessy, P. D. 1970. The genetics of plumage phase dimorphism of the Southern 
Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus. Heredity 25 : 501-506. 

— 1975. Variation in facial colour of the Royal Penguin. Emu 75: 147-152. 

Smith, G. T. 1974. An analysis of the function of some displays of the Royal Penguin. Emu 

Strange, I. J. 1965. Beauchene Island. Polar Rec. 12: 725-730. 
Swales, M. K. 1965. The sea-birds of Gough Island. Ibis 107: 17-42 & 215-229. 

[Bn/I.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 102 

Taylor, R. H. 1975. Some ideas on speciation in New Zealand parakeets. Notornis 22: 

Warham, J. 1962. The biology of the Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus. Auk 79: 139-160. 

— 1963. The Rockhopper Penguin, Eudyptes chrysocome, at Macquarie Island. Auk 80: 

— 1967. The White-headed Petrel Pterodroma lessoni at Macquarie Island. Emu 67 : 1-22. 

— 1971- Aspects of the breeding behaviour of the Royal Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus 
schlegeli. Notornis 18:91-115. 

— 1972a. Breeding seasons and sexual dimorphism in the Rockhopper Penguin. Auk 
89: 86-105. 

— 1972b. Aspects of the biology of the Erect-crested Penguin Eudyptes sclateri. Ardea 
61 : 145-184. 

— 1974. The breeding biology and behaviour of the Snares Crested Penguin. /. Roy. 
Soc.N.Z. 4: 63-108. 

— 1975. The Crested Penguins, pp. 189-269 in The Biology of Penguins. Macmillan, 

Warham, J., Keeley, B. R. & Wilson, G. J. 1977. The breeding of the Mottled Petrel 

Pterodroma inexpectata. Auk 94: 1-17. 
Warham, J. & Bell, B. D. 1979. The birds of Antipodes Island, New Zealand. Notornis 26: 

Weller, M. W. 1972. Ecological studies of Falkland Islands' waterfowl. Wildfowl 23 : 25-44. 
— - 1975. Ecological studies of the Auckland Islands Flightless Teal. Auk 92: 280-297. 
Williams, A. J., Siegfried, W. R., Burger, A. E. & Berruti, A. 1977. Body composition and 

energy metabolism of moulting eudyptid penguins. Comp.Biochem. Physiol. 56A: 27-30. 
Woods, R. W. 1975. TheBirds of the Falkland Islands. Anthony Nelson: Oswestry. 
Voisin, J. F. 1976. Observations sur les petrels geants de l'lle aux Cochons (Archipel 

Crozet). Alauda 44 : 41 1-429. 
Zinderen Bakker, E. M. van, Jr. 1971a. Comparative avian ecology, pp. 161-172 in Marion 

and Prince Edward Islands. Balkema: Cape Town. 

— 1971b. The genus Diomedea. pp. 273-282 in Marion and Prince Edward Islands. Balkema : 
Cape Town. 

— 1 97 1 c. A behaviour analysis of the Gentoo Penguin {Pygoscelis papua Forster). 
pp. 25 1-272 in Marion and Prince Edward Islands. Balkema : Cape Town. 

Address: Dr. John Warham, Zoology Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch. 
New Zealand. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

The present status of Antarctic ornithology 

by E. C. Young 


The three essential features of the antarctic continent critical to an under- 
standing of antarctic ornithology are its position almost exactly centred 
on the South Pole, with most of its land mass below latitude 70°S; its 
permanent cover of ice and snow with much of its periphery at sea level 
girdled with glaciers or fast ice; and its great isolation from other substantial 
land masses across notoriously desolate ocean spaces, enhanced by the 
circumpolar air and water circulation patterns. 

Climate similarity and biogeographical links suggest that the most useful 
regional area for a review of Antarctica is one extending out to about the 
Antarctic Convergence. The Antarctic Convergence, however, falls within 
the circle of westerly wind patterns and related water flow, countered in a 
narrow band around the continent by an easterly flow. The climate of the 
westerly wind zones is characterized by high, steady winds, high precipita- 
tion and predominantly cloudy weather. The weather in the easterly wind 
zone is generally better; drier with fewer cloudy days and lighter winds, 

io3 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

though colder. Antarctic personnel appreciate this difference. Working 
conditions are much easier on most continental rookeries than on the island 
rookeries further north — no smell, no wind, little rain, clear skies. The 
real heroes in this region are those who struggle through the bogs and mists 
of the subantarctic islands in oiled or sodden clothing, with damp and 
mildewed note-books; not those in the briskly cheerful rookeries of the far 

As one moves south the diversity of species declines, from 26 breeding 
species on South Georgia to just three species for study, the Adelie Penguin 
Pygoscelis adeliae and McCormick's Skua Catharacta maccormicki over summer 
and the Emperor Penguin Apfenodjtes forsteri in winter. A bibliography of 
papers published since i960 contains 562 papers; 137 general accounts of 
the avifauna, 274 on penguins, 76 on petrels and albatrosses and 47 on 
skuas. Shags, gulls, sheathbills and the smaller petrels have received little 

There are a number of general accounts of the antarctic avifauna in 
addition to a voluminous specialist literature. Murphy's (1936) two-volume 
Oceanic Birds of South America has stood as the prime source of general 
information on the birds of the region to this day. Since then general reviews 
have appeared by Falla (1964) on the distribution of birds; Stonehouse 
(1965) on birds and mammals; Carrick & Ingham (1967, 1970) on recent 
and future research areas; Austin (1968) on recent American research; 
Stonehouse (1975) on the biology of penguins; Watson et al. (1971) on 
species distribution and taxonomy; and Watson (1975) on a comprehensive 
guide to the identification, distribution and biology of antarctic and sub- 
antarctic birds. The three SCAR biology meetings provided a wealth of 
information, and research output of French scientists appears regularly 
in UOiseau. Research programmes and short reports appear annually in 
antarctic journals. 

Antarctic ornithology is pre-eminently the study of adaptations for survival 
and breeding in a severe environment, above all else to cold conditions: 
in the maintenance and regulations of body heat, in the adjustments of 
breeding patterns to a short, favourable season; and for winter survival away 
from the land. 

Distribution and taxonomy of some Antarctic species 

The breeding distributions of antarctic birds is now fairly well catalogued. 
The map folio of Watson et al. (1971) showing distribution of individual 
species is a remarkable achievement highlighting the rapid progress made 
in the biological exploration of the region. These distribution records have 
been compiled from an enormous variety of sources, ranging from a wealth 
of historical records, from incidental observations from ships, from the 
explorations of geologists and surveyors to the systematic surveys of geo- 
graphic regions. A remarkable feature is the uniformity of species across 
such a large area. Only 4 species are subspecifically differentiated within the 
geographic range covered by this review. The Snow Petrel is considered to 
have 2 forms, a smaller subspecies Pagodroma nivea nivea over most of the 
continent and a much larger form P. n. major in Adelie land with the 
habit of nesting in more open terrain. The Blue-eyed Shag is considered to 
have 3 subspecies:- Phalacrocorax atriceps gaini on the Antarctic Peninsula and 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 104 

Scotia Arc islands, P. a. nivalis on Heard, and P. a. georgianus on South 
Georgia. Wilson's storm petrel has one subspecies Oceanites 0. oceanicus on 
Kerguelen and other northern islands, and O. 0. exasperatus to the south. 
Eudyptes chrysolophus has 2 distinct subspecies, E. c. chrysolophus, the Macaroni 
Penguin, widespread through the region, and E. c. shlegeli the Royal Penguin 
of Macquarie. 

Apart from these 4 species all others are monotypic throughout the 
region or are represented by a single subspecies with others resident further 
to the north. The status of the skuas is not yet clearly determined. If the 
morphology within species is so uniform, this must indicate genetic pan- 
mixia, so that differences found in biology, behaviour and ecology represent 
the effect of environmental moderators. There are nevertheless substantial 
taxonomic problems in some antarctic species groups. 

Giant Petrel (or Fulmar) 

These birds, although obviously distinct from other petrels, have long 
been known as a most variable taxon with an immense breeding range from 
the New Zealand subantarctic islands to the antarctic mainland. Bourne & 
Warham (1966) proposed that 2 sibling species were involved: Macronectes 
halli breeding and feeding mainly to the north of the Antarctic Convergence 
and M. giganteus to the south. Both species breed on islands close to the 

The central problem of the maintenance of their specific identities is 
not yet solved. Although the species do have different nesting preferences 
and breed at different times on islands where they breed sympatrically, 
(at Macquarie M. halli lays between 11 August and 6 September and M. 
giganteus from about 27 September to 19 October (Johnstone 1979)) some 
interbreeding has nevertheless been observed. Different laying dates and 
nesting habits do not seem sufficient over a long period to prevent major 
hybridisation. Research could usefully be carried out on species discrimination 
through both morphological and behavioural features. The small differences 
in bill and eye colour seem negligible in comparison with the large variation 
in size and plumage in these dimorphic species. 


At no point, from the very first reviews, has there been general agreement 
on how the various populations of skuas should be ordered. There are 4 
main problem areas. 

1) The relationship of the skua-jaegar group (Family Stercorariidae) to 
the (other) gulls. 

2) Relations between the larger forms (the skuas) and the smaller, lighter 
forms (the jaegars) breeding solely in the northern hemisphere. 

3) The relations between and status of the various 'forms' of skuas breed- 
ing in the Atlantic arctic, the subantarctic and antarctic regions. Specifically, 
it needs to be resolved whether these different populations are conspecific, 
making up a single bipolar species, whether they comprise distinct species 
or whether some other arrangement of specific and subspecific units is most 

105 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

4) Finally, and more trivially, there is the need to settle on acceptable 
common names. 

It is widely accepted that there are 4 species or species groups in the 
Stercorariidae, comprising 3 well defined species of smaller birds (the 
jaegers) Stercorarius parasiticus, S. pomarinus and S. longicaudus, all of which 
are easily distinguishable on the breeding grounds but only with difficulty 
as juveniles or in non-breeding plumage when on their southern migrations. 
The fourth group consists of the (Great) skuas. These are heavy, uniformly 
brownish-grey birds breeding on islands and coasts of the north Atlantic 
and throughout the southern temperate subantarctic and antarctic zones. 
Their enormous geographic range, among often isolated islands and coasts, 
and their breeding site tenacity makes species recognition dependent on 
comparisons of size and plumage, breeding habits, behaviour and distribu- 
tional ranges, as with other allopatric populations of superspecies. It seems 
extraordinary that the taxonomy should be in such disarray that skuas still 
appear in publications under two generic names, Stercorarius and Catharacta, 
with preference given to the former by European authors and to the latter 
by American ones. Schnell (1970) could not demonstrate differences in 
the skeleton of jaegers and skuas beyond those related to size. Moreover, 
behavioural studies by Moynihan (1959) and Andersson (1973) show a 
common behavioural link through all 4 with a natural grouping into 2 pairs; 
a smaller pair, parasiticus and longicaudus and a larger pair, pomarinus and skua. 

Within the skuas themselves, the basis is Hamilton, (1934) grouping into 5 
subspecies. Murphy (1936) was unable to provide a definitive classification, 
and concluded (p. 1012) "since I cannot decide whether the skuas represent 
one species or four species, I am for the present arbitrarily regarding all of 
them as geographic races of a single species". His species was Catharacta 
skua. Much more is known now than in Hamilton's day of their distribution, 
biology and migrations but not enough yet apparently for firm convictions 
to occur, though it has come to be generally accepted that 6 forms exist, 
skua, maccormicki, lonnbergi, antarctica, hamiltoni and chilensis. 

Sir Robert Falla had begun to re-examine the problem and was concerned 
with dimorphism in plumage colour, the spasmodic occurrence of 'golden* 
and 'reddish-cinnamon' casts to adult plumages, and the need to establish 
sequences of juvenile to adult plumage changes (R. A. Falla, pers. comm.), 
underlining his pleading that the taxonomic viewpoint should not be over- 
looked in any of the research on these species (Falla 1964). 

Watson (1975) concluded that there are 2 species in the antarctic: C. 
maccormicki and C. lonnbergi, the other forms being "probably conspecific with 
one or the other of the [six] antarctic skuas". 

Devillers (1977) provides by far the most useful recent survey of the status 
and taxonomy of this group. He examined 733 specimens which, taken 
together with distribution records, led him to conclude that 3 species were 
represented in the 6 forms: that maccormicki and chilensis were specifically 
distinct, whereas lonnbergi, skua, antarctica and hamiltoni were each subspecies 
of Catharacta skua. This paper also provides much information on the migra- 
tory patterns of the different forms and on their recognition at sea. 

Although Gain (1914) had described lonnbergi and maccormicki breeding 
together on the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula this was not 
confirmed until recently (Watson et al. 1971). Their area of overlap has been 

{Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 106 

the focus of research of a team headed by Dr. D. F. Parmalee. His study on 
Anvers Island (64°46'S) has shown the considerable extent of hybridization 
there, and from the returns of banded fledglings that not only do maccormickl 
cross the Pacific equator — which has been long known — but that they 
apparently also migrate into the northern Atlantic, i.e., into the breeding 
range of the Great Skua. (See also Salomonson 1976.) This may well be the 
most significant study to date on skua distribution and systematic relations. 
Bonner (1964) described a single trio of breeding adults of lonnbergi 
defending territories, since when Young (1978) has found such trios on 
South East Island of the Chathams group. Guthrie- Smith (1925) had pre- 
viously described this phenomenon as common in the Stewart Islands, and 
further enquiry shows that it is widespread throughout the New Zealand re- 
gion. It has never been recorded in maccormickl. If, as now seems likely, 
cooperative breeding has a genetic basis it indicates that the New Zealand 
lonnbergi population is somewhat genetically isolated from other skuas. 

Snow Petrel 
The Snow Petrel Pagodroma nivea is represented in most of its range by 
the smaller P. nivea nivea, and in one small area on the Adelie Land Coast 
by the larger form P. n. major. Isenmann (1970a), in an analysis comparing 
size measurements and breeding ecology of the 2 forms concluded that 
they were not specifically distinct, as merging seems to be present at Cape 
Hunter, and that the larger form has been selected to withstand the greater 
cooling effect of the Adelie Coast environment for birds nesting in the open. 
This seems an extraordinary phenomenon repaying more detailed study. 

Watson (1975) grouped the various populations of southern shags into 
2 species (including the Kerguelen Shag of Voisin, 1970). Not only are the 
King Shag Phalacrocorax albiventer and Blue-eyed Shag P. atriceps morpho- 
logically very similar, their distribution also suggests a close affinity. The 
former has a more circumscribed but northern distribution, and both species 
breed on the southern islands and straits of South America. Behn et al. (195 5) 
resolved from their surveys that P. albiventer had spread from the Falkland 
Islands east and that P. atriceps had dispersed from the Feugian coast of 
Chile towards the south and west, to as far as New Zealand, as well as north- 
wards along the Chilean coast. They found both forms were on Tierra del 
Fuego. They concluded nevertheless that there were 2 valid species. Devillers 
& Terschuren (1978) going over the same ground, recording proportions 
of each form and incidences of interbreeding, on the other hand consider 
that the 2 forms are conspecific producing a polymorphic population in 
their contact area. One doubts that the last word has been written on their 
taxonomy and distribution. 

The biology of Antarctic species 
The Adelie Penguin Pjgoscelis adeliae 
Breeding biology and behaviour 

Dr. W. J. L. Sladen, who not only saw the need for markers but perfected 
the present safe and durable designs of flipper bands, provided a first com- 
pendium of techniques for Adelie research, in an account (1958) that has 
proved to be a classic study of this bird. Similar studies were later carried 
out by Tayloi (1962), Stonehouse (1963) and Reid (1964) at the Cape Royds 

io 7 [BulLB.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

and Cape Hallet rookeries. The pattern set by these authors of combining 
data on colony population change, breeding cycle and behaviour into a 
coherent whole, and the need to relate behavioural observations to seasonal 
patterns has been an established working rule in Antarctica from the first. 

The development of a population of known-age banded birds (32,748 
banded by 1968 (Sladen et al. 1968)) at Cape Crozier has permitted much 
closer analysis of biology and breeding success than hitherto possible, and 
this recognisable and documented population has been frequently exploited. 
Le Resche & Sladen (1970), for example, explored how young birds return- 
ing to the breeding rookery become more and more fully integrated within 
the breeding population and confirmed what had been always tacitly assu- 
med earlier (e.g. Penney 1968), that younger birds probably contributed 
most to the variability in breeding behaviour seen at rookeries. Dr. 
D. G. Ainley, in an important study of non-breeding Adelie Penguins 
(1975a, b) indicated that behaviour changes with age and that older non- 
breeders which showed immature patterns failed to pair. Later (1978), after 
discovering that some 1 3 year-olds were still not breeding even though physio- 
logically capable of doing so, he concluded that non-breeding in males was 
related to their poor nutritional reserves at the time of arrival at the rookery, 
which acted to reduce their pre-breeding activity. Penney (1968) set new 
standards for detailed observation measurement and recording of the 
territorial and social behaviour of the Adelie, and Spurr (1975 a, b) has 
produced a detailed account of the social and communication behaviour 
of Adelie adults and chicks at the Cape Bird rookery. Spurr has also provided 
(1975 c) a valuable account of the breeding biology of his study population 
over 4 seasons. 

The structure of the penguin colony has attracted considerable interest 
in its role in climate amelioration, and in nest protection from egg and chick 
predation by skuas e.g. Tenaza (1971) at Cape Hallet. Oelke (1975) has 
extended the work of Penney and of Tenaza to individual colonies within 
the Cape Crozier rookery, and his results after much analysis, have related 
sensibly to the results of other studies on disturbance and predation. It is 
doubtful if one can go much further with this approach. 

A fertile direction of research has been to analyse the behaviours and 
responses of individuals, e.g. Spurr (1974) in a study of aggressiveness. 
These studies rely on filming and models, which the antarctic climate posi- 
tively encourages, well demonstrated by Derksen (1977), whose use of 800 
hours of time-lapse photography of up to 5 pairs gave 108,000 individual 
frames of film for analysis of incubation behaviour, complemented by tem- 
perature data from an egg model in the nest. Photography gets around one 
big problem in Antarctica; 24-hour daylight allows more or less continuous 
bird activity, defeating even the most assiduous observer in long term studies. 
Muller-Schwarze (1968) had previously found that Cape Hallet birds 
followed a circadian activity rhythm with an activity minimum about mid- 
day, which Derksen could substantiate, though Yeates (1971) was not able 
to demonstrate activity rhythms at Cape Royds, possibly due to temperature 
and light regimes being less marked at that latitude. Daily cycles have now, 
however, been clearly established for penguins at Cape Crozier (Miiller- 
Schwarze & Muller-Schwarze 1971) and Cape Bird (Spurr 1978) at a similar 
latitude to Cape Royds. 

[Bull.D.O.C. 19S0: 100(1)] 108 


Emison (1968) made the first detailed study of the feeding preferences 
of Adelie Penguins in the Ross Sea, without slaughtering birds, by the 
use of a suction tube to remove samples of food from the stomach, and 
showed in detail that Adelies in this area in summer were taking small 
shoaling organisms over 1 5 mm in length in the upper water layers. Ainley 
& Emison (1972) have attempted with some success to relate food size 
preference to the sexual size dimorphism of this penguin. The feeding range 
from rookeries still needs determination, as well as the winter diet and 
preferences and diets in other latitudes when competing with other pen- 
guins. The uncanny ability of the sea- and ice-bound penguins to find their 
feeding stations and their breeding rookeries and nests each new year has 
excited admiration (even wonder) in all observers. Emlen & Penney (1966) 
have demonstrated an acute distance navigation ability. Like the phenomenon 
of diurnal periodicity, this facility requires rather refined experimentation 
for complete analysis. 


For various reasons penguins aggregate at a small number of geographic 
places, forming dense colonies of breeding birds. They are not only in 
intense competition, but also form oases of food on land for predatory 
and scavenging species; in the south skuas and the Leopard Seal Hydrurga 
leptonyx, and further north in addition the giant petrels Macronectes and the 
Sheathbill Chionis minor. 

Young (1963, 1970) showed that, contrary to belief (see Maher 1966) 
only a small proportion of skuas breeding on Cape Royds and Cape Barne 
had access to the eggs and chicks of the small Cape Royds rookery; that 
most were independent of penguins for successful breeding, feeding en- 
tirely at sea, plunging for surface fish; and that skuas could probably not 
in fact be fed throughout the season at any rookery, penguins as food 
becoming unavailable at the time when skua chicks were placing heaviest 
demands on parents. These conclusions have been amply confirmed during 
5 season's observational and experimental work at the much larger Cape 
Bird rookeries of Ross Island (Young, in prep.) Since then, Furness (1978) 
has provided a bioenergetic model, employing the feeding ecology and 
energetics of the Great Skua in Shetland, which sets high standards for 
antarctic work to emulate. Trillmich (1978) has re-examined the relation- 
ship between the two birds at Cape Hallet, and concluded that sufficient 
penguin food was available through summer at the rookery to feed at least 
some pairs of skuas entirely, just what proportion is uncertain. Parmalee 
et al. (1978), on the other hand, found that on Anvers Island, lonnbergi skuas 
were dependent on penguins but that maccormicki fed at sea and in bad ice 
years were not able to breed successfully. Spellerberg (1975) has reviewed 
the relationship between different penguins and their possible predators 
(Leopard Seal, Sea Lion, Killer Whale, Skua and Sheathbill), and draws a 
clear distinction between gross food abundance (biomass of eggs and chicks 
on the rookery) and food actually available to the predator. 

Adaptions to cold climates 

Life in the antarctic environment requires a complex thermoregulatory ap- 
paratus. Penguins in particular require effective insulation for heat retention 

109 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 

at very low temperatures that can also allow radiation during periods 
of intense activity or during hot sunny days on the rookery. It is provided 
by a stocky body insulated both with subcutaneous fat and a dense plumage, 
coupled with radiating surfaces on the inner face of the flippers. The ex- 
posed lower leg and feet and air passages have subtle and sensitive tempera- 
ture control systems. Stonehouse (1967, 1970) was very early to consider 
biology and morphology in relation to the temperature environment of 
penguin species. 

Adaptation has been shown in seasonal breeding cycles, and in migrations 
to breeding areas. Distribution of breeding colonies in relation to geographic 
and climate-related factors, such as availability of snow-free ground and 
access to open water (Stonehouse 1963, Ainley & Le Resche 1973) is also 
adaptive. Open water access is critically important in first movement to 
the rookery and when feeding chicks. Yeates (1975) has summarised much 
of the present information on micro-climate, climate and breeding in the 
Adelie, and Spurr (i975d) has demonstrated a very precise orientation 
by Adelies to face into strong winds. Sladen et al. (1968) describe the 
impact of very severe winds, above 200 km/hr. Below these levels, winds 
were advantageous for breeding at Cape Crozier by providing clear water 
for feeding. Emperor and King Penguin adults, and chicks of most species, 
group together in huddles or creches at certain times. There is not much 
doubt that this is to preserve heat in the winter breeding penguins, but its 
causative agent in Adelie and other chicks is not established. Creching may 
occur in cold weather, and certainly occurs in rookeries disturbed by skuas 
or man. The need now is to measure the triggering levels against chick 
age and colony size, as can now be done in the laboratory following the 
successful transplanting of Adelie Penguin colonies described by Todd 
(1978). There is now a voluminous research record of the anatomical and 
physiological basis of fasting and temperature regulation in these birds, 
too large to be essayed in the present review. 


Eklund (1961) gave the first working account of the general biology of 
Catharacta maccormickihastd on a major banding programme, complementing 
that of Stonehouse (1956) of the feeding and breeding biology of C. lonn- 
bergi at South Georgia. These two publications together with Moynihan's 
(1962) work on chilensis provided a good framework for later research and 

Young's 1959/60 study (1963a, b) at Cape Royds, continued from 1964 
at Cape Bird, highlighted again the vulnerability of skuas to disturbance by 
man and pinpointed the major cause of their low breeding success as failure 
to sustain the 2 chicks after hatching — a biological paradox that has subse- 
quently received detailed study. At about the same time Le Morvan, Mougin 
& Prevost (1967) were working to produce an account of the ecology at 
Pointe Geologie (Adelie Coast), and Reid similarly was working at Cape 

At Cape Royds Spellerberg (1971a, b) provided a 4-year account of a 
population existing independently of penguins. The specific problem of 
the early loss of one of the 2 chicks hatching at skua nests has been un- 
ravelled further by Procter (1975) who concluded that "the nutritional 

[Bui/.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] no 

condition of the chicks regulates aggresive behaviour"; but he was not able 
to place this anachronisticly intense sibling rivalry into an ecological or 
evolutionary context. Parmalee et al. (1978) found that in years with easy 
feeding access to the sea maccor?mcki at Anvers Island raised 2 chicks; in 
bad years none. Young (1972) drew attention to the remarkable stability 
of skua territories. Wood's (1971) is the first paper from Cape Crozier, 
where an intensive banding and recovery programme is to be maintained. 
Compared with other skua forms, there is no doubt that maccormicki is in an 
unusually stark environment. 

Burton (1968a, b) has provided the most comprehensive account of the 
biology of skuas in the subantarctic, on lonnbergi at Signy Island, including 
details of postures and sequences of behaviour used in agonistic encounters. 
Notes on the biology of these species from more temperate habitats are 
in Downes et al. (1959) for Heard Island and Swales (1965) for Gough 
Island. Tickell (1962) comments on lonnbergi as a predator of petrels at 
several islands. A comparative study of skuas in Antarctica and on the 
temperate, densely vegetated Chatham Islands was pursued by Young 
(1978), who found that a high proportion of pairs on Chathams raised 
both chicks of the pair, the chicks not displaying sibling rivalry at the nest. 
Study of this population is being continued to provide an explanation for 
the common occurrence of 3 adult birds at nests. 

Emperor Penguins Aptenodytes forsteri 
Emperor Penguins breed during winter, laying eggs in May and June, 
and, as individual pairs are not identified with a nest site or colony, individual 
recognition is always a problem, especially as the brooding birds move 
about appreciably and in severe conditions huddle into tight amorphous 
groups losing individual identity. Most colonies are on fast ice linked to 
the antaractic mainland, difficult or even hazardous of access. It is even 
difficult to obtain fair counts of numbers. In spite of all these deterrents, 
considerable research has been carried out on their anatomy and physiology, 
and on their adaptations for survival and breeding under winter antarctic 

Much of our present understanding of the ecology of the Emperor 
Penguin is from research conducted since 1952 at the French base at Pointe 
Geologie, Adelie Land (papers by Prevost, Sapin-Jaloustre, Guillard, Isen- 
mann, Arnaud, Birr, Mougin and Jouventin), linked to a major banding 
programme, allowing known-age identification of behaviour and mortality 
factors. Jouventin (1975) has summarised findings on mortality and popula- 
tion factors there for 195 2-1970. No other antarctic studies can match this 
continuity. Le Maho, Delclitte & Groscolas (1977) record in fine detail 
temperature relations, metabolic rates and blood plasma constituents of 
fasting adults, a study only possible in nearby laboratory conditions. 

Stonchouse (1953) studied breeding at the single rookery known for the 
Antarctic Peninsula. Budd (1962) describes techniques used to census 
rookeries and presents data on penguin numbers through the breeding 
season, estimating a world population then of 120,000 breeding pairs. 
Conroy (1975) gives estimates of breeding populations, across a variable 
number of years, at 7 rookeries, concluding that overall the population 
number appears stable. 

1 1 1 [Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(1)] 

According to Stonchouse (1970) Emperor Penguins have an incubation 
period of 62 days, and young chicks grow very slowly. The incubation 
period precludes summer breeding, as chicks could not then fledge at a 
favourable period for survival, while the slow growth is conditioned by 
food shortage and adverse temperature conditions. In the view of Isenmann 
(1971) the length of the 250 day breeding cycle is determined by the need 
to fit into the sea-ice cycle, from onset of stability to break-out in spring, 
as this penguin is crucially dependent on this ice for breeding. The birds' 
behaviour and biology over winter is however marked by the over-riding 
adaptations that conserve metabolic heat and thus extend the life of the 
lipid store. It is in this light that the lack of territorial behaviour, which 
allows huddling, and the facility to move about carrying the eggs and young 
chicks should be interpreted. 

Other Species 
Comparatively little research has been done on other antarctic birds, 
but there are, however, good accounts of the breeding biology for all species. 
For example, Maher (1962), Brown (1966), Beck (1970) and Isenmann (1970) 
for the Snow Petrel Pagodroma nivea\ Lacan (1971) and Beck & Brown (1972) 
for Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus\ Pinder (1966) and Isenmann 
(1970b) for the Cape Pigeon Daption capensis. Brook & Beck (1972) describe 
the occurrence of both Antarctic Petrels and Snow Petrels inland on the 
Theron Mountains, and Parmalee (1977) compares the adaptations of 
Antarctic Terns and Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea to antarctic ecosystems. 
Watson et al. (1971) and Watson (1975) provide comprehensive bibliographes 
for all species. 


This review has briefly touched on some of the work done in antarctic 
ornithology over the past two decades, since the great upsurge of effort 
heralded by the International Geophisical Year (IGY) 1958-59. The results 
achieved reflect an enormous commitment to research under difficult con- 
ditions — research made possible by the availability of safe and rapid trans- 

Antarctic ornithology has matured astonishingly quickly to its present 
sophisticated, and increasingly laboratory oriented, status. It is, however, 
best developed in its details; the central problem of the long term regulation 
of bird numbers in the Antarctic region is still little understood. A major 
research effort is needed into factors determining abundance and distribu- 
tion of species. What is missing especially is information on overwintering 
and feeding strategies. Without this information it is simply not possible 
to complete the accounts of species' biology and population dynamics. 
Scientists and administrators carry a heavy responsibility to ensure that 

, these unique assemblages of species survive into the future. They are at 
risk at present from the introduction of pollutants and avian diseases, but 

; any economic exploration of Antarctica would greatly increase the risk 
of local extinctions. 

Oveiall, the last 20 years have been ones of great achievement. Levick 

! (191 5) wrote "The habits of the Adelie Penguin have been dealt with from 

[BuU.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 112 

time to time by different writers, but the information to be had from these 
is fragmentary and misleading". At least for this species this is no longer 

Acknowledgement : I gratefully acknowledge the help given by S. M. Martin, J. M. Daven- 
port and P. M. Young in the preparation of this review. 

References : 

Ainley, D. G. 1975a. Development of reproductive maturity in Adelie Penguins. In Stone- 
house, B. (ed) 1975: 139-157. 

Ainley, D. G. 1975b. Displays of Adelie Penguins: a reinterpretation. In Stonehouse, B. 
(ed) 1975: 503-534- 

Ainley, D. G. 1978. Activity patterns and social behaviour of non-breeding Adelie Pen- 
guins. Condor 80: 138-146. 

Ainley, D. G. & Le Resche, R. E. 1973. The effects of weather and ice conditions on breed- 
ing in Adelie Penguins. Condor 75: 235-239. 

Ainley, D. G. & Emison, W. B. 1972. Sexual size dimorphism in Adelie Penguins. Ibis 
114: 267-271. 

Andersson, M. 1973. Behaviour of the Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus Temm. with 
comparative remarks on Stercorariinae. Orn. Scand. 4: 1-16. 

Austin, O. L. (ed). Antarctic Bird Studies. Antarctic Res. Ser. 12: 1-262. Washington. 

Baker, J. R. 1973. Penguin and skua studies at Hallett Station. Antarctic J. U.S. 8: 200-201. 

Beck, J. R. 1970. Breeding seasons and moult in some smaller Antarctic petrels. In 
Holdgate, M. W. Antarctic Ecology 1: 542-550. Academic Press: London. 

Beck, J. R. & Brown, D. W. 1972. The biology of Wilson's storm petrel, Oceanites oceanicus 
(Kuhl), at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Set. Rep. Brit. Antarctic Surv. 69: 1-54. 

Behn, F., Goodall, J. D., Johnson, A. W. & Phillippi, B. 1955, The geographic distribu- 
tion of the Blue-eyed Shags Phalacrocorax albiventer and Phalacrocorax atriceps. Auk 
75: 6-13. 

Bonner, W. N. 1964. Polygany and super-normal clutch size in the Brown Skua, Catharacta 
skua lonnbergi (Mathews). Bull. Brit. Antarctic Surv. 3: 41-47. 

Brook, D. & Beck, J. R. 1972. Antarctic petrels, snow petrels and south polar skuas 
breeding in the Theron Mountains. Bull. Brit. Antarctic Surv. 27: 1 31-137. 

Bourne, W. R. P. & Warham, J. 1966. Geographical variation in the giant petrels of the 
genus Macronectes. Ardea 54: 45-67. 

Brown, D. A. 1966. Breeding biology of the Snow Petrel Pagodroma nivea (Forster). 
ANARESci. Rep. B (1) 89: 63. 

Budd, G. M. 1962. Population studies in rookeries of the Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes 
forsteri. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 139: 265-288. 

Burton, R. W. 1968a. Breeding biology of the Brown Skua, Catharacta skua lonnbergi 
(Mathews) at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Bull. Brit. Antarctic Surv. 15: 9-28. 

Burton, R. W. 1968b. Agonistic behaviour of the Brown Skua, Catharacta skua lonnbergi 
(Mathews). Bull. Brit. Antarctic Surv 16: 15-39. 

Carrick, R. & Ingham, S. E. 1967. Antarctic sea birds as subjects for ecological research. 
J ARE Sci. Rep. Special Issue 1: 1 51-184. 

Carrick, R. & Ingham, S. E. 1970. Ecology and population dynamics of Antarctic sea 
birds. In Holdgate, M. W. (ed.) Antarctic Ecology 1: 505-525. Academic Press: London. 

Conroy, J. W. H. 1975. Recent increases in penguin populations in Antarctica and the 
Subantarctic. In Stonehouse, B. (ed.) 1975: 321-336. 

Derksen, D. V. 1977. A quantitative analysis of the incubation behaviour of the Adelie 
Penguin. Auk 94: 552-566. 

Devillers, P. 1977. The skuas of the North American Pacific coast. Auk 94: 417-429. 

Devillers, P. & Terschuren, J. A. 1978. Relationships between the Blue-eyed Shags of 
South America. Gerfaut 68: 53-86. 

Downes, M. C, Ealey, E. H. M., Gwynn, A. M. & Young, P. S. 1959. The birds of Heard 
Island. Rep. Aust. Nat. Antarctic Res. Exped. iB: 1-135. 

Eklund, C R. 1961. Distribution and life history studies of the South Polar Skua. Bird 
Bandit, g -\2: 187-223. 

ii3 [Bull.B.O.C. 19 So: 100(1)] 

Emison, W. B. 1968. Feeding preferences of the Adelie Penguin at Cape Crozier, Ross 

Island. Antarctic Res. Serv., Washington 12: 1 91-21 2. 
Emlen, J. T. & Penney, R. L. 1966. The navigation of penguins. Sclent. Amer. 215: 104-113. 
Falla, R. A. 1964. Distribution patterns of birds in the Antarctic and high-latitude Sub- 
antarctic. In Carrick, R., Holdgate, M. & Prevost, J. (eds) Biologie Antarctique: 367-376. 

Hermann: Paris. 
Furness, R. W. 1978. Energy requirements of seabird communities: a bioenergetic model. 

J. Anim. Ecol. 47: 39-53. 
Gain, L. 1914. Oiseaux antarctiques. Deuxieme expedition antarctique francaise (1908- 

1910). Sci. Naturelles: Documents Scientifiques. Maison: Paris. 
Guthrie-Smith, H. 1925. Bird Life on Island and Shore. Blackwood: Edinburgh. 
Hamilton, J. E. 1934. The sub-antarctic forms of the Great Skua {Catharacta skua skua). 

Discovery Rep. 9: 161-174. 
Issenmann, P. 1970a. Contribution a la biologie de reproduction du Petrel des Neiges 

(Pagodroma nivea Forster) le probleme de la petite et de la grande forme. UOiseau et 

R.F.O. 40 (Special Number): 99-134. 
Isenmann, P. 1970b. Note sur la biologie de reproduction comparee des damiers du cap 

Daption capensis aux orcades du sud et en Terre Adelie. UOiseau et R.F.O. 40 (Special 

Number): 1 35-141. 
Isenmann, P. 1971. Contribution a L'ethologique et a L'ecologie du Manchot Empereur 

Aptenodytes forsteri (Gray) a la colonie de Pointe Geologie (Terre Adelie). UOiseau 

et R.F.O. 41 (Special Number) 9-64. 
Johnstone, G. W. 1979. Agonistic behaviour of the giant petrels Macronectes giganteus and 

M. hal 'li feeding at seal carcasses. Emu 79: 129-132. 
Jouventin, P. 1975. Mortality parameters in Emperor Penguins, Aptenodytes forsteri. In 

Stonehouse, B. (ed.) 1975: 435-446. 
Lacan, F. 1971. Observations ecologiques surle petrel de Wilson (Oceanites oceanicus) en 

Terre Adelie. UOiseau et R.F.O. 41 (Special Number): 65-89. 
Le Maho, Y., Delclitte, P. & Chatonnet, J. 1976. Thermoregulation in fasting emperor 

penguins under natural conditions. Amer. J. Phys. 231: 913-922. 
Le Morvan, P., Mougin, J. L. & Prevost, J. 1967. Ecologie du skua Antarctique (Ster- 

corarius skua maccormlcki) dans l'Archipel de Pointe Geologie (Terre Adelie). UOiseau 

et R.F.O. 37: 193-200. 
Le Resche, R. E. & Sladen, W. J. L. 1970. Establishment of pair and breeding site bonds 

by young known-age Adelie Penguins {Pygoscells adeliae). Anim. Behav. 18: 517-526. 
Levick, G. M. 191 5. Natural History of the Adelie Penguin. Nat. Hist. Rep. British Antarctic 

"Terra Nova" Expedition 1910 1: 55-84. 
Maher, W. J. 1962. Breeding biology of the Snow Petrel near Cape Hallett, Antarctica. 

Condor 64: 488-499. 
Maher, W. J. 1966. Predation's impact on penguins. Nat. Hist. (New York) 75: 42-51. 
Moynihan, M. 1959. A revision of the Family Laridae (Aves). Amer. Mus. Novlt. 1928: 

41 pages. 
Moynihan, M. 1962. Hostile and sexual behaviour patterns of South American and Pacific 

Laridae. Behaviour Supplement 8. 
Miiller-Schwarze, D. 1968. Circadian rhythms of activity in the Adelie Penguin {Pygoscells 

adeliae) during the austral summer. Antarctic Res. Ser. (Washington) 12: 133-149. 
Miiller-Schwarze, D. & Miiller-Schwarze, C. 1971. Antipredator and social behaviour in 

Adelie Penguins {Pygoscells adeliae). Antarctic/. U.S. 6: 99-100. 
Murphy, R. C. 1936. Oceanic Birds of South America. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York. 
Oelke, H. 1975. Breeding behaviour and success in a colony of Adelie Penguins, Pygoscells 

adeliae, at Cape Crozier, Antarctica. In Stonehouse, B. (ed) 1975: 363-395. 
Parmalee, D. F. 1977. Adaptations of Arctic terns and Antarctic terns within Antarctic 

ecosystems. In Llano, G. A. (ed) Adaptations within Antarctic Ecosystems: 687-702. 
Parmalee D. F., Bernstein, N. & Neilson, D. 1978. Impact of unfavourable ice conditions 

on bird productivity at Palmer Station during the 1977-78 field season. Antarctic J. 

U.S. 13: 146. 
Penney, R. L. 1968. Territorial and social behaviour in the Adelie Penguin. Antarctic Res. 

Serv. (Washington) 12: 83-131. 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: ioo(r)] 1 14 

Pindcr, R. 1966. The Cape Pigeon, Daption capensis Linnaeus, at Signy Island, South 

Orkney Islands. Bull. Brit. Antarctic Surv. 8: 19-47. 
Prince, P. A. & Payne, M. R. 1979. Current status of birds at South Georgia. Brit. Antarctic 

Surv. Bull. 48: 103-118. 
Procter, D. L. 1975. The problem of chick loss in the South Polar skua Catharacta mac- 

cormicki. Ibis 117: 452-459. 
Reid, B. E. 1964. The Cape Hallett Adelie Penguin rookery — its size, composition and 

structure. Rec. Domin. Mus. N.Z. 5: 11-37. 
Salomonsen, F. 1976. The South Polar skua Stercocarius maccormicki Saunders in Green- 
land. Dan. Ornith. Foren. Tidsskr. -joy. 81-89. 
Schnell, G. D. 1970. A phenetic study of the Suborder Lari (Aves). Syst. Zool. 19: 35-57; 

Sladen, W. J. L. 1958. The Pygoscelid Penguins. I. Methods of study; II. The Adelie 

Penguin. Falk. I si. Dep. Surv. Sci. Rep. 17: 1-97. 
Sladen, W. J. L., Le Resche, R. E. & Wood, R. C. 1968. Antarctic avian population studies 

1967-68. Antarctic J . U.S. 3: 247-260. 
Spellerberg, I. F. 1971a. Aspects of McCormick skua breeding biology. Ibis 113: 357-363. 
Spellerberg, I. F. 1971b. Breeding behaviour of the McCormick skua Catharacta maccormicki 

in Antarctica. Ardea 59: 189-230. 
Spellerberg, I. F. 1975. The predators of penguins. In Stonehouse, B. (ed) 1975: 413-434. 
Spurr, E. B. 1974. Individual differences in aggressiveness of Adelie Penguins. Anim. Behav. 

22: 611-616. 
Spurr, E. B. 1975a. Communication in the Adelie Penguin. In Stonehouse, B. (ed) 1975: 

Spurr, E. B. 1975b. Behaviour of the Adelie Penguin chick. Condor 77: 272-280. 
Spurr, E. B. 1975c. Breeding of the Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae at Cape Bird. Ibis 

117: 324-338. 
Spurr, E. B. i975d. Orientation of Adelie Penguins in their territories. Condor 77: 335-337. 
Spurr, E. B. 1978. Diurnal activity of Adelie Penguins Pygoscelis adeliae at Cape Bird. Ibis 

120: 147-152. 
Stonehouse, B. 1953. The Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes forsteri. Falkl. I si. Dep. Surv. 

Sci. Rep. 6: 33 pages. 
Stonehouse, B. 1956. The Brown Skua Catharacta skua lonnbergi (Mathews) of South 

Georgia. Falkl. I si. Dep. Surv. Sci. Rep. 14: 25 pages. 
Stonehouse, B. 1963. Observations on Adelie Penguins {Pygoscelis adeliae) at Cape Royds, 

Antarctica. Proc. XIII Int. Orn. Congr. 1962: 766-779. 
Stonehouse, B. 1965. Birds and Mammals. In Hatherton, T. (ed) Antarctica'. 153-186. Reed: 

Stonehouse, B. 1967. The general biology and thermal balances of penguins. Adv. Ecol. 

Res. 4: 1 31-196. 
Stonehouse, B. 1970. Adaptations in polar and subpolar penguins {Spheniscidae). In Hold- 
gate, M. W. (ed) Antarctic Ecology 1: 526-54. Academic Press, London. 
Stonehouse, B. (ed) 1975. The Biology of Penguins. The Macmillan Press, London. 
Swales, M. K. 1965. The sea birds of Gough Island. Ibis 107: 17-42, 215-229. 
Taylor, R. II. 1962. The Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae at Cape Royds. Ibis 104: 176-204. 
Tcnaza, R. 1971. Behaviour and nesting success relative to nest location in Adelie Pen- 
guins {Pygoscelis adeliae). Condor 73: 81-92. 
Tickell, W. L. N. 1962. The Dove Prion Pachyptila desolata Gmelin. Falkl. Isl. Dep. Sci. 

Rep. 14: 55 pages. 
Todd, F. S. 1978. Establishment of a high antarctic penguin colony and controlled environ- 
ment breeding of Adelie Penguins {Pygoscelis adeliae). Antarctic J . U.S. 13: 153-154. 
Trillmich, F. 1978. Feeding territories and breeding success of south polar skuas. Auk 95: 

Voisin, J. F. 1970. On the specific status of the Kerguelen shag and its affinities. Notornis 

17: 286-290. 
Watson, G. E. 1975. Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-antarctic. Antarctic Res. Ser. Amer. 

Geophys. Union, Washington: 350. 

ii5 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Watson, G. E., Angle, J. P., Harper, P. C, Bridge, M. A., Schlatter, R. P., Tickell, W. L. 

N., Boyd, J. C. & Boyd, M. M. 1971. Birds of the Antarctic and Subantarctic. Antarctic 

Map Foilio Series, Folio 14. Amer. Geograph. Soc. 
Wood, R. C. 1 971. Population dynamics of breeding south polar skuas of unknown age. 

Auk 88: 805-814. 
Yeates, G. W. 1971. Diurnal activity in the Adelie Penguin {Pygoscelis adeliae) at Cape Royds, 

Antarctica./. Nat. Hist. 5: 103-112. 
Yeates, G. W. 1975. Microclimate, climate and breeding success in Antarctic penguins. 

In Stonehouse, B. (ed) 1975: 397-409. 
Young, E. C. 1963a. The breeding behaviour of the south polar skua Catharacta maccor- 

micki. Ibis 105: 203-233. 
Young, E. C. 1963b. Feeding habits of the south polar skua Catharacta maccormicki. Ibis 

105: 301-318. 
Young, E. C. 1970. The techniques of a skua-penguin study. In Holdgate, M. W. (ed). 

Antarctic Ecology 1: 568-584. Academic Press: London. 
Young, E. C. 1972. Territory establishment and stability in McCormick's skua. Ibis 114: 

Young, E. C. 1978. Behavioural ecology of lonnbergi skuas in relation to environment on 

the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. N.Z.J. Zool. 5: 401-416. 

Address: Professor E. C. Young, Zoology Department, University of Auckland, Private 
Bag, Auckland, New Zealand. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Ornithology in Canada in the 20th Century : 
a capsule overview 

by Henri Ouellet <& W. Earl Godfrey 

The study of birds has had a long tradition in Canada but it was not until the 
turn of the century that an important work on the bird fauna of the entire 
country became available {Catalogue of Canadian Birds ; 1909, J. <& J. M. 
Macouri). This landmark, which brought together the results of early surveys 
in various regions, as well as previously published data, preluded more 
comprehensive and detailed works. 

Early in the century the National Museum of Canada, in Ottawa, became 
the major centre of Canadian ornithological research mainly through the 
efforts of P. A. Taverner, ornithologist with the Museum from 191 1 to 
1942. Taverner left an impressive legacy through his numerous ornitho- 
logical investigations. In addition to conducting a vigorous programme in 
bird distribution and taxonomy, he expanded the collection from about 
4000 to more than 30,000 specimens during his tenure. He conceived a 
remarkable system of maps and index reference cards to record bird distribu- 
tion, still currently in use. He recognised the need for extensive field surveys 
, and organised many field parties to various parts of the country to obtain 
specimens and first hand distribution data. His publications number about 
300. He authored Birds of Canada (1934) and its predecessors Birds of Eastern 
Canada 1919 and Birds of Western Canada 191 6), which became the basic 
references on Canadian birds for several decades. They greatly popularised 
ornithology at a time when there was little general interest in birds in 
, Canada, outside naturalist groups. His concern for conservation made him 
• instrumental in the creation of Point Pelee National Park and the Bonaventure 

{BulLB.O.C. 1980:100(1)] 116 

Island Bird Sanctuary. A. L. Rand succeeded Taverner, and in the next few 
years continued the survey of the Canadian avifauna. He published important 
papers on bird distribution and taxonomy. 

Following Rand's departure from the Museum in 1947, W. Earl Godfrey 
in the period 1947- 1976 undertook large scale surveys in areas of Canada 
heretofore poorly known and published on various aspects of birds, particu- 
larly their distribution and taxonomy. The publication in 1966 and 1967 
respectively of his major work The Birds of Canada and Les Oiseaux du Canada 
constitutes another landmark in Canadian ornithology both in providing 
an accurate account of the Canadian bird fauna and in stimulating popular 
ornithology from coast to coast. A second revised and updated edition, now 
in preparation, is scheduled to appear in 1981. In 1977, Henri Ouellet was 
appointed Curator of Birds. Current museum research projects deal 
primarily with taxonomy, systematics, zoogeography, and behaviour, with 
a monograph on Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea behaviour in preparation by 
S. D. MacDonald. The main groups of birds currently under study comp- 
rise northern gull species, tetraonids, and scolopacids. A comprehensive 
study of the distribution of the birds of the Quebec-Labrador Peninsula and 
adjacent islands is in preparation also. The national ornithological collections, 
currently comprising some 100,000 skins, skeletons, fluid-preserved speci- 
mens, eggs and nests, are particularly rich in breeding material. 

The Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto, originally the Royal Ontario 
Musuem of Zoology, was founded in 1914. L. L. Snyder, Curator of Birds 
from 1935 to 1963, organised and participated in an extensive faunal survey 
of Ontario, built up an important ornithological library, was active in con- 
servation, developed the bird collection from some 5000 to about 100,000 
skins, eggs, and nests. Now Canada's largest, the ROM collection currently 
contains some 150,000 specimens. Snyder published numerous papers 
and two f}ooks: Ontario Birds (195 1) and Arctic Birds of Canada (1957). 
James L. Baillie, Assistant Ornithologist from about 1923 to 1970, sought 
out much information on the history of ornithology in Ontario, maintained 
intricate distribution files, was deeply involved in conservation, and excelled 
in the popularization of ornithology both as a science and a hobby. Follow- 
ing Snyder's retirement, ornithological research at ROM took on a new 
direction in that systematic studies involving sophisticated numerical 
methods were introduced, resulting in several publications, thus starting 
a new trend at that museum. Concurrenty, detailed investigations on the 
distribution of birds in Ontario along with ecological and behaviour studies 
are being pursued. The present curators are A. J. Baker, J. C. Barlow, and 
R. D. James. 

Important ornithological work is conducted also in other provincial 
museums, particularly in New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia. 

In 1 91 7, the Government adopted the Migratory Birds Convention Act. 
This led to the appointment of Hoyes Lloyd in 191 8 as first superintendent 
of wildlife in the Parks Branch of the Department of the Interior. Lloyd, in 
his responsibility for enforcing regulations, developed a network of officers 
who undertook ornithological work in addition to their conservation 
duties and he himself took an active part in ornithological activities and , 
continued to do so for many years after his retirement in 1943. He served 
as President of the American Ornithologists' Union from 1945 to 1948. | 


[Bull.B.O.C. i? So: 100(1)] 

H. F. Lewis, who had served under Lloyd as Chief Migratory Bird Officer 
for Quebec and Ontario since 1920, assumed in 1944 the position of Super- 
intendent of Wildlife Protection in Canada. In 1947, with the establishment 
of the Canadian Wildlife Service, he was appointed its first Chief and he ably 
guided it through its critical formative years. He is responsible for the imple- 
mentation of an ornithological research programme by this agency. The 
Canadian Wildlife Service currently supports annually some 100 ornitho- 
logical projects which are mainly species oriented, but which range in con- 
tent from theoretical ecology, breeding biology, distribution, population 
dynamics, behaviour, and migration, to effects of pollutants and pesticides 
on birds, biometrics, management, hazards to aircraft, and conservation of 
birds in general. It maintains the headquarters of bird banding in Canada. 
Approximately 80% of the current projects deals with applied ornithology. 
The staff consists of nearly 60 ornithologists and bird biologists. Notable 
among the numerous publications are the following: The Murres (L. M. 
Tuck, i960); Histoire Naturelle du Gode, Alca torda ... (J. Bedard, 1969); 
The Snipes (L. M. Tuck, 1972); Buffleheads (A. J. Erskine, 1972); and Atlas 
of Eastern Canadian Seabirds (R. G. Brown et a/, 1975). 

Ornithological work, oriented primarily toward management, is also carried 
out in various provincial or territorial game agencies. A number of consultant 
agencies have in recent years been engaged in such projects, which are 
usually restricted to providing solutions to well defined problems, usually 
involving applied ornithology. 

A number of Canadian universities have undertaken important orni- 
thological research programmes during the last 50 years, notable among 
which were the pioneer work and experiments on bird migration of William 
Rowan, at the University of Alberta in the 1920's and i93o , s. Currently 
ornithological research is conducted at other Canadian universities on a 
variety of subjects ranging from ecology, behaviour, song, acoustics, 
physiology, migration, and speciation, to morphology, systematics, manage- 
ment, and conservation. The contribution of the larger universities, which 
are often better equipped and funded, is particularly impottant; but the 
results from smaller universities are far from negligible. 

Independent workers, often amateurs, have contributed significantly to 
Canadian ornithology. J. H. Flemming, President of the American Orni- 
thologists' Union from 1932 to 1935, published some 80 papers on taxonomy 
and distribution and built an important collection (world-wide in representa- 
tion) of nearly 33,000 specimens, which were bequeathed to the Royal 
Ontario Museum after his death in 1940, along with his extensive library. 
L. M. Terrill published over 40 papers on life histories and distribution in 
Quebec between 1903 and 1968. Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, in addition 
to publishing several life history papers, wrote a comprehensive mono- 
graph on woodpecker biology. A number of independent workers and 
amateurs are now engaged in various ornithological undertakings and the 
prospect of eventual valuable publications is excellent. The work of talented 
bird illustrators such as Alan Brooks, Robert Bateman, John Crosby, 
J. L. Grondin, J. F. Lansdowne, Glen Loates, and T. M. Shortt enhan- 
ces publications in this and other countries. 

Detailed provincial works are available for Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, 
Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, northern Quebec and Labrador, 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 118 

Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia and there are annotated lists for 
substantial parts of the others. Nest record schemes administered by various 
federal and provincial agencies exist for all provinces. 

Although Canada has been very active in ornithology, particularly since 
the late i94o's, much remains to be done: the ornithological exploration of 
the country has not yet been completed, taxonomic problems remain to be 
solved, various in-depth ecological studies are just beginning to yield stimu- 
lating results, and current behaviour studies are providing important new 

We regret that we cannot mention here all ornithologists whose work 
is so deserving. We thank the following for various information : J. C. Barlow, 
F. G. Cooch, V. M. Humphreys, R. D. James, and Rev. R. C. Long. 

Address : National Museum of Natural Sciences, National Museum of Canada, Ottawa, 
Ontario, Canada KiA OM8. 

Fifty years of American Ornithology 

by Robert E. Ricklejs and Frank B. Gill 

Neither of us is approaching his 40th, let alone 50th birthday, and so our 
appraisal of the last 5 o years of American ornithology is strongly influenced 
by current trends and our own interests*. Furthermore, as travel and com- 
munications between nations have increased, and as English has become 
the common language of science, differences in the expression of ornitho- 
logical interest in different countries have faded and ornithology has become 
truly international. Yet many aspects of American ornithology have both 
developed independently and retained a distinctive flavour. We shall con- 
centrate on these while giving credit where it is due to European influences 
on our endeavours. We shall also indicate what we believe are some ongoing 
changes in the character of American ornithology. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century, American ornithology was 
preoccupied with coming to grips with its avifauna through taxonomic and 
distributional analyses. These studies were initiated within the natural 
history museums in Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, and New York. But 
the foundations of a new American ornithology also were being laid at 
this time, particularly by Frank M. Chapman at the American Museum of History in New York. Not content with traditional faunistics, he 
began to blend evolutionary biogeography, speciation, and ecological 
associations into his studies of the Colombian (1917) and Ecuadorian (1926) 
avifaunas. Chapman assembled a staff at the American Museum whose 
vitality and productivity during the 1930's and 1940*8 shifted the centre of 
systematic ornithology from the Old World to the New World, but also 
influenced the development of ornithology more generally. This group 
included John Zimmer (studies of Peruvian birds, 193 1 and following), 
James Chapin {Birds of the Belgian Congo, 1932), R. C. Murphy (Oceanic Birds 

*For a more detailed and balanced statement, see E. Mayr, "Materials for a history of \ 
American ornithology," the Epilogue to E. Stresemann (1975), Ornithology from Aristotle 
to the presmt. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 

ii 9 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 1 (100)] 

of South America, 1936), Ernst Mayr {Systematics and the Origin of Species , 1942), 
and later Thomas Gilliard, Dean Amadon, and Charles Vaurie. 

The new blend of ecology, speciation, and evolution that characterised 
American ornithology was gradually assimilated into American universities, 
beginning with the appointment in 191 5 of Arthur A. Allen to a position 
as ornithologist at Cornell. Similar centres appeared at Berkeley with Joseph 
Grinnell and A. H. Miller, at Michigan with jocelyn Van Tyne, and at 
Illinois with S. Charles Kendeigh. Their families of students are directly 
responsible for the flowering of ornithology in academic institutions in 
the United States and Canada. It is no accident that when 244 college and 
university professors, mostly in their 30's and 40's, responded recently to 
an AOU questionnaire concerning their graduate institutions, 40% had 
received their degrees from Berkeley, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and 
Cornell, with the remaining 60% spread thinly among 66 other institutions. 

The development of ornithology within academic institutions produced 
such distinctive American contributions as studies on hybridization by 
Charles Sibley and Lester Short, on community ecology and diversity by 
Robert MacArthur, and on the ecology of territorial and mating systems 
by F. A. Pitelka, J. Brown, and G. Orians. These efforts, in which the 
influence of the University of California at Berkeley has predominated, are 
currently being expressed in applications of genetic analyses to the structure 
of populations, of the molecular biology of proteins and DNA to studies 
of phylogenetic relationships among species and higher taxa, and of evolu- 
tionary thinking to the study of behavioural ecology. This integrative 
approach to avian evolution and ecology has been supported by the develop- 
ment of new techniques, such as the use of vocal characters analyzed spectro- 
graphically, pioneered by W. J. Borror and applied by Wesley Lanyon, W. 
John Smith, and others, to studies of systematics, communication, song 
development, and population structure. 

To a large degree, studies in ecology developed in parallel on both sides 
of the Atlantic. American ornithologists, especially Robert MacArthur and 
Gordon Orians, were greatly influenced by Charles Elton, David Lack, and 
John Crook. The intense interest of Americans in island biogeography also 
can be traced to influences from Great Britian, whose ornithologists have 
had an inordinate amount of access to islands. 

North American contributions to avian physiology in the last 50 years 
match advances in systematics and ecology. From W. Rowan's classical 
work on the relation of the gonadal cycleinjuncostophotoperiod, sprouted 
a variety of American studies on physiology and endocrinology, ranging 
from D. S. Farner and J. R. King's investigations of annual cycles, including 
moult, which raised the White-crowned Sparrow to the status of the labora- 
tory mouse, to D. S. Lehrman's studies on endocrine control of behaviour 
in the Ring Dove, ornithology's laboratory rat. Another distinctively 
American direction in physiology was the comparative approach of George 
Bartholomew, William Dawson, and Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, whose studies 
of the physiological ecology of birds concentrated on problems of heat 
water, and salt balances in desert-inhabiting species, and the energetics of 
free-living birds. Among studies on the energetics of birds and their overall 
functioning within the ecosystem, all roots can be traced back to S. Charles 
; Kendeigh, of the University of Illinois, and his student, Eugene P. Odum. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 120 

These increasingly theoretical or technological disciplines of ornithology 
have been matched by comprehensive life-history and population studies of 
colour-marked individuals. Margaret Nice's work on the Song Sparrow was 
a model study, followed by Harold Mayfield's on the Kirtland's Warbler 
and most recently by Val Nolan's invasion of the privacy of the Prairie 
Warbler. American ornithologists, particularly Alexander Wetmore and 
R. M. de Schauensee, characterised tropical American avifaunas in detail. 
Life-history studies of Neotropical birds, pioneered by Frank M. Chapman, 
were extended by Alexander Skutch in his remarkable, life-long, compara- 
tive study of the nest life of tropical songbirds. 

Conservation is not a uniquely American enterprise by any means, yet 
there are few programmes anywhere that can match joint U.S. and Canadian 
efforts to understand, monitor, and manage populations of waterfowl, or 
to protect such endangered species as the Peregrine Falcon, California 
Condor and Whooping Crane. Our strong tradition of wildlife conserva- 
tion may derive in part from the fact that industrialised society was late in 
coming to the Americas and encroachment on habitats and species have 
come largely within the period of widespread interest in wildlife. America's 
conservation conscience was greatly lifted by Aldo Leopold, who also 
helped to institutionalise wildlife studies, most notably at the University of 

Along with the development of scientific ornithology in the United States 
and Canada, contributions from amateurs and avocational ornithologists, 
professionally involved in other fields, also grew. Arthur Cleveland Bent, 
chronicler of American bird lives, was an amateur. Frank Chapman and 
Arthur Allen catalysed popular interest in birds, partly through personal 
appearances and partly through the use of bird photography in popular 
articles. Crawford Greenewalt's contributions to the physics of sound 
production in birds, the basis of iridescence in hummingbird feathers, and 
the aerodynamics of bird flight, and Frank Preston's theoretical considera- 
tions of the abundance and rarity of species, illustrate the coupling of 
avocational interest in birds with other professional expertise. 

Early in this century, Frank M. Chapman began the tradition of Christmas 
Counts, organizing amateurs to census our wintering avifaunas. The 70 
years of data now accumulated are a major resource for understanding bird 
population trends in the U.S. 

Bird watching grew rapidly as a popular hobby with the publication of ] 
Roger Tory Peterson's system for field identification. Monitoring the 
spectacular spring and fall movements of North American breeding birds 
also became popular among amateurs, whose observations have become a 
major component of modern American ornithology. These efforts were 
highlighted by Frederick Lincoln's 1939 book Migration of Birds, and by 
George Lowery's work relating transgulf migration to weather and they 
are complemented by recent studies by William Keeton and Steve Emlen 
on homing and orientation, an area in which collaboration with European, 
especially German, ornithologists has been productive. 

In recent years, certainly, the vast resources of American academic institu- 
tions, funding agencies, conservation organizations and popular press have 
made a big difference in the growth and character of American ornithology. 
Millions of dollars each year are spent on pure research, survey, husbandry, 

izi [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

and conservation of birds. Somewhere about 1000 professional ornitholo- 
gists are employed by universities and colleges. Between 4000 and 5000 
American college students take courses in ornithology each year, while 
hundreds of graduate students receive advanced degrees based on studies 
concerning birds. Serious amateur ornithologists number in the thousands 
(c. 4500 belong to the 3 major national ornithological societies) and recrea- 
tional ornithologists with a deep concern for conservation and the conditon 
of the environment number in the millions. By sheer weight of membership 
and pages of publications, the American ornithological societies contribute 
disproportionately to the world supply of information concerning birds. 
American ornithology has thus grown from a few contributions from the 
major museums to a broadly-based discipline of academic, professional, 
amateur, and government involvement, unparalleled elsewhere in the world. 
As ornithology has developed during the past 2 decades, its character 
also has changed. By elevating ornithological research to the status of a 
well-funded scientific discipline, government and academia have attracted 
considerable outside talent lacking the natural history background of 
earlier ornithologists. Many research programmes now focus upon prob- 
lems of general interest to ecologists, ethologists, physiologists, and evolu- 
tionists, rather than upon problems specifically motivated by interest in 
birds. In the survey mentioned earlier, of 893 M.S. and Ph.D. theses written 
since 1970, 46% were in the area of ecology, 23% in ethology /behaviour, 
and 11% each in physiology and wildlife. The remaining 10% included the 
more traditional topics of anatomy, palaeontology and systematics. 

The trend leading from systematics, anatomy, etc. to ecology and be- 
haviour reflects the changing interest of students from taxonomically- 
oriented studies to question-oriented studies, and also the fact that syste- 
matic and anatomical work on birds is well advanced compared to other 
taxa. Furthermore, so little fossil material exists and genetic studies are so 
difficult that, for evolutionary problems, studies of birds are not attractive. 
While modern trends in research on birds are certainly consistent with and 
appropriate to the interests of American science, they also have two important 
implications for American ornithology. The first is that the museum tradi- 
tion is slowly dying. Although museums have vast resources for systematic, 
evolutionary and ecological studies, and Federal support of collections is 
increasing, it is difficult to find well-trained curators among today's students. 
This despite the fact that the kinds of background studies that have made 
birds so attractive as subjects of biological research were largely inspired 
from within the museum tradition. Certainly the prominent role that birds 
have played in the study of evolution, speciation, island biogeography, and 
community organization springs directly from the drawers upon drawers 

; of specimens in museum cabinets — but students rarely go to the source 

The second implication is that the gap between the professional and the 

i amateur ornithologist is widening. This is inevitable as research comes to 
rely on more complicated, often quantitative techniques and addresses more 

I erudite questions; it is also unfortunate because professional ornithologists 
often got their start as amateurs (we both did), whereas this is less and less 
often the case nowadays. In addition, the data gathered by amateurs on 

; breeding bird densities, number of eggs, nesting success, and so on, plus 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 122 

the insights gained through pleasant hours of birdwatching, have tradition- 
ally catalysed the scientific study of population biology, life-history patterns, 
ethology, and behavioural ecology. Practically the only facets of ornithology 
not cut by amateur ornithologists or by the natural history-museum tradi- 
tion were anatomy and physiology. 

Balancing these trends in ornithology are improving attitudes towards 
the application of scientific methods to studies of birds. Traditionally such 
studies were descriptive and subjective, their value coming from highly 
developed intuitions about nature. During the 1960*5, as ornithologists 
began to rub shoulders with molecular and cellular biologists, there was a 
reaction against the old approach. Some ornithologists embraced numerical 
taxonomy and mathematical models of natural systems to the point that 
these tools became goals in themselves; but while much intellectual excite- 
ment was generated, many of the questions posed were not answered to 
general satisfaction, and great promise was largely unfulfilled. We are now 
witnessing 3 trends in avian studies that reflect a more mature and balanced 
attitude. First, students are learning again that the best inspiration is still 
to come from Nature herself. The new questions of the 1960*5 and 1970'$ 
primarily demonstrated how little we knew about birds. Theory is likely 
to provide useful inspiration only when it is founded upon a strong base of 
empirical knowledge, and models are only a way of expressing our under- 
standing of nature and of suggesting tests of the validity of our inspirations, 
certainly not themselves a source of inspiration. Second, our students are 
becoming much more expert in the analysis and statistical interpretation of 
their data. The importance of this is that ornithologists are establishing a 
better sense of criteria for agreeing on statements about nature. Whereas 
in the past the existence of many purported patterns was the subject of 
intense debate, we now have better tools for picking apart relationships 
and assigning a level of statistical validity to them. Third, ornithologists are 
becoming experimentalists. Although there has been a long tradition of 
experimentation in physiology and behaviour, manipulations are being 
applied more and more in ecological and other field studies. 

We are hopeful that a return to Nature for inspiration combined with 
more general agreement on what constitutes scientific progress will lead to 
a renewed flourishing of ornithilogical study in America, in which regard, 
we modestly suggest that no discussion of American ornithology would be 
complete without mentioning the important contributions of our own 
studies on development rates in birds and on the behavioural ecology of 
nectar-feeding birds. 

Address: Dr. R. E. Ricklefs, Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Phila- 
delphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 19104. 

Dr. F. B. Gill, The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 19103. 
© British Ornithologists' Club. 

123 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 

Ornithological research in tropical America — the last 

35 years 

by D. IV. Snow 

A major part of the research literature on tropical American birds is pub- 
lished in American journals, and for this reason is not as well known to 
European ornithologists as it might be. And for obvious reasons - geo- 
graphical proximity, and the large number of active ornithologists based on 
universities and museums - the American contribution is likely to pre- 
ponderate still more in the future. Most of the research is biological - that is, 
it deals with the ecology and behaviour of birds ; it is no longer a matter of 
simply describing and cataloguing. A hundred years ago the position was 
very different: European ornithologists were then in the forefront, most of 
the bird species had been discovered and their geographical variation was 
beginning to be worked out, but biological studies were still far in the future. 
The change of emphasis, which coincides closely with the end of the last 
World War, provides a convenient starting point for the present review. 

The aim of this paper is to draw attention to some of the newer develop- 
ments in tropical American ornithology, especially for readers who have not 
had access to the large and scattered literature. The topics dealt with 
inevitably reflect to some extent a personal bias; but some of them, at least, 
would take a prominent place in any review of the subject. Some topics - 
notably migration and breeding seasons - have been omitted, for various 
reasons. Migration within South America is still very little understood; it 
has been reviewed by Sick (1968), but few recent advances have been made, 
and nothing comparable to what is now known of the migration of African 
birds within Africa. Breeding seasons and annual cycles have been investi- 
gated in detail in a few areas, but no general synthesis has been made; and 
information for large areas at low latitudes, especially the Amazonian forest, 
is very sparse. 

Ornithological exploration 

The pioneering stage in the ornithological exploration of tropical America, 
by expeditions and professional collectors financed by European and North 
American museums, ended with the second World War. By the end of this 
stage the foundations of knowledge of the distribution and geographical 
variation of the Neotropical avifauna had been securely laid. The results were 
brought together in the monumental Catalogue of Birds of the Americas, 
published between 191 8 and 1949, a work which is still the starting point in 
any serious avifaunistic research. Ornithological exploration has continued 
since then, but it has in the main been differently organized. Traditional 
exploration has been continued on a regional basis by the major South 
American museums, including the private Phelps Museum in Venezuela 
(which is shortly to become the Venezuelan national ornithological collec- 
tion). As a result many gaps in knowledge have been filled in, and Venezuela 
in particular, an extremely rich country which had been neglected in the earlier 
years, has now one of the best known avifaunas. In addition to locally based 
exploration of the traditional kind, a number of more or less long-term 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 124 

field stations have been established (some based on existing institutions), 
and these have resulted in very detailed knowledge of local avifaunas. 
Examples are Rancho Grande in Venezuela (cloud forest of the coastal 
cordillera), the Museum Goeldi in Brazil (lowland forest of lower Amazonia), 
the Rio Palanqui Research Station in Ecuador (humid forest on the western 
slopes of the Andes), and Cocha Cashu Station in the Manu National Park in 
Peru (lowland forest of upper Amazonia). In the last of these, over 470 bird 
species have been recorded within 5 km of the Station, making it the richest 
forest area known in the world. 

Outstanding among the intensive regional surveys has been the work of 
members of the Louisiana State University's Museum of Zoology, who since 
1 96 1 have been working in the Peruvian Andes and at the base of the Andes 
on the eastern side. This geographically complex area has produced an extra- 
ordinary succession of new species, many of them very distinct. When the 
last was described (Xenoglaux lower yi, a tiny owl with several peculiar features 
including a very reduced sternal carina - O'Neill & Graves 1977), the score 
stood at 21 new species, 4 of which have been placed in new genera; and 
there are certainly more to come. The wealth of this area may be better 
appreciated when it is compared with the rest of the continent. In the years 
1 941-196 5 20 new species were discovered in other parts of South America. 
They include no new genera; only a few of them are at all distinct from known 
species, and most can reasonably be included as allospecies (geographical 
representatives), or even subspecies, of species already known (Mayr 1957, 
1971). It is especially noteworthy that the continuing ornithological explora- 
tion of the Andean slopes of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela has pro- 
duced nothing comparable to Peru. When the Peruvian discoveries have been 
completed (if they ever are) it will be a fascinating task to analyse them in 
relation to the rest of the South American avifauna and to what is known of 
past climatic and geological changes. Does this area harbour, in addition 
to more recent elements, a relict avifauna which has disappeared from the 
rest of the continent ? 

Avifaunistic analyses 

The tropical American avifauna is now sufficiently well known for zoo- 
geographical analysis, and an increasing number of such studies have appeared 
in recent years. Vuilleumier (1969 a, b) examined geographical patterns of 
differentiation and speciation in Andean birds; Mayr & Phelps (1967) 
analysed the endemic birds of the Guiana highlands (for which they coined 
the name "Pantepui") and discussed their origin; and Short (1975) analysed 
the avifauna of the chaco region, the well-defined block of arid woodland in 
Paraguay, Bolivia and northern Argentina, and related it to the avifauna of 
other arid woodland areas of the continent. Perhaps the most fruitful studies, 
however, have been Haffer's analyses of speciation patterns in tropical forest 
areas, especially Amazonia (Haffer 1970, 1974; Simpson & Haffer 1978) 
Haffer's main thesis is that during arid periods in the Quaternary (probably 
contemporaneous with glacial periods in the north) the Amazonian forest 
was reduced to a number of isolated pockets or "refuges" (corresponding to 
areas where rainfall is especially high today), that the isolated sections q 
species thus split differentiated from one another under the differing environ- 
mental influences to which they were subjected, and that when the forest 

I2 5 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

subsequently spread with the return of more humid conditions the isolated 
populations spread with them and came into contact again. When they came 
into contact various outcomes were possible, depending on the degree of 
differentiation and reproductive incompatibility achieved in isolation. 
Haffer's hypothesis provides a convincing explanation of many present-day 
distribution patterns; it is particularly convincing in the case of groups of 
closely related species which abut on one another's ranges without any over- 

i lap (so-called "parapatric" species). This is a rather common situation in 
Amazonian birds. In such cases it seems that the species concerned have 
evolved effective isolating mechanisms preventing interbreeding, but are 
still too similar ecologically to be able to penetrate each other's ranges and 
coexist. In other cases more or less narrow zones of hybridization seem to 

; mark the areas where formerly isolated forms, which have not achieved 
reproductive isolation, have come into contact again. 

Haffer's hypothesis helps to explain Amazonia's great richness in bird 

I species. It provides the element of geographical isolation necessary (accord- 

i ing to generally accepted theory) for species formation. But it clearly does 
not go the whole way to explaining South America's extraordinary diversity 

1 of species. Geomorphological evidence will have to be taken into account. 
For instance, from the beginning of the Tertiary until the mid-Tertiary 
northern South America was represented by 3 separate land-masses: a 

1 northern Guianan region, a southern Brazilian region, and to the west an 
emergent Andean region (Simpson & Haffer 1978). The present Neotropical 

t avifauna must have been formed by a fusion of the avifaunas of these 3 areas, 

1 with a further contribution from North or Central America (Mayr 1964). 

. Species studies 

There have been a considerable number of these, but the number of species 
, dealt with is still a tiny fraction of the whole. William Beebe, working 
1 mainly in British Guiana (now Guyana), and Frank M. Chapman, working 
on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, were the 2 pioneers. Since their time, 
4 long-term residents have added greatly to our knowledge of individual 
species. In Central America, Dr A. F. Skutch has produced a volume of 
publication on the biology, especially the breeding, of single species that is 
unrivalled in quantity and in the length of period of sustained publication 
(1930 to the present). His studies have been brought together in several 
books, in addition to papers in journals, the greatest number in 3 volumes of 
the Pacific Coast Avifauna series published by the Cooper Ornithological 
Society. Dr H. Sick, long resident in Brazil, has contributed greatly to 
knowledge of the birds both of Amazonia and of eastern Brazil ; among his 
many notable discoveries may be mentioned the nest of the Amazonian 
Umbrellabird Cephalopterus ornatus (Sick 1954). F. Haverschmidt, resident in 
Surinam from 1946 to 1968, added greatly to knowledge of the feeding 
habits and breeding of birds in that country. P. A. Schwartz, resident in 
Venezuela from the early 1950s until his sudden death in April 1979, pro- 
duced many important contributions to the biology of a wide range of 
species, from tinamous, hawks and toucans to finches and manakins. His 
< death cut short an ornithological career that was approaching its peak of 
! productivity, and tragically much partially completed research of the greatest 
; interest will now remain unpublished. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 126 

Single species studies in depth have also been made by ornithologists 
temporarily resident at field stations. Dr E. O. Willis, working in several 
different areas from Panama to Brazil, added tremendously to our knowledge 
of antbirds and other species that accompany army ants. The studies by my 
wife, Barbara K. Snow, and myself in Trinidad, Guyana and other parts of 
northern South America have been concerned mainly with cotingas, 
manakins, hummingbirds and the Oilbird Steatornis caripensis. In studies such 
as these there has understandably been some bias towards species which are 
reasonable easy to locate, especially those that have fixed display areas or 
smallish territories in the lower strata of the forest. This has, in fact, meant 
that a great deal of attention has been given to lek birds, and one outcome of 
this has been to emphasize an important difference between Neotropical and 
African forest birds. There are apparently no lek species in the African forest 
avifauna, and this is probably related to the comparative rarity of specialised 
frugivores in Africa, which in turn is related to the comparative poverty of 
the African forest flora (Snow 1979). 

Population dynamics 

A few long-term studies based on colour ringing have begun to give 
estimates of annual survival of forest birds. Calculation of survival rates 
from returns of ringed birds by members of the public, the usual method in 
Europe, is of course generally impossible in tropical America and out of the 
question for forest birds. Male Black-and-white Manakins Manacus manacus 
in Trinidad were found to have an annual survival rate of at least 89% 
(Snow 1962a), and an indirect estimate for the Golden-headed Manakin 
Pipra erythrocephala gave a figure of about 90% (Snow 1962b). These figures 
are remarkably high by comparison with survival rates of small passerines in 
temperate latitudes, but they seem to be well founded. Continued monitoring 
of the Trinidad Black-and-white Manakin populations over a further 10 
years by Dr A. Lill (Snow & Lill 1974) gave an absolute minimum survival 
rate of 79%, based on recaptures. Allowing for individuals that there was 
good reason to suppose must have escaped capture, the true survival was 
probably substantially higher than 79%. The greatest minimum age at 
recapture for a Black-and-white Manakin was 14 years, and for a Golden- 
headed Manakin 12 years. The 14-year-old bird had probably been a con- 
tinuous territory-holder at a lek for at least 1 1 years. 

The only other figures available for forest birds are those obtained by 
Willis for 3 species of antbirds in Panama. The most complete data, for the 
Spotted Antbird Hylophylax naevioides, indicated an annual survival of 81.2% 
for the two other species, Gymnopithys bicolor and Phaenostictus mcleannani, 
the figures were 71% and 70% respectively (Willis 1974). 

Such high annual survival rates must mean that breeding success is very 
low, if the populations are to remain more or less stable; and in fact most 
studies have shown that a very high percentage of nests in American tropical 
forests fail. For the Black-and-white Manakin in Trinidad, only 19% of nests 
were successful (i.e. produced at least one young) (Snow 1962a), for the 
hummingbird Glaucis hirsuta 17% (Snow & Snow 1973), and for the thrushes 
Turdus fumigatus and T. albicollis 21% (Snow & Snow 1963). For the Spotted 
Antbird in Panama, Willis (1974) recorded a success rate of less than 13%. 
These and other figures based on smaller samples indicate that very low 
success rates are typical of tropical American forest birds. 

127 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

Mixed species flocks 

Foraging flocks composed of different species of birds are a feature of 
tropical forest in many parts of the world. A great advance in understanding 
their composition and function has resulted from recent studies in tropical 
American forests, especially those by Willis (1967, 1972, 1973) and Munn 
(1979). Willis worked out in great detail the social organization of 2 antbird 
species which are closely associated with army ants, accompanying them and 
feeding on the insects which they flush. He found that there is a system of 
overlapping home ranges. Each established pair owns a territory, but the 
territory is not exclusive: neighbouring birds are allowed to trespass, but 
they are subordinate to the owners. Thus as an army ant column moves on, 
passing from one pair's territory to another, different individual birds are 
dominant at the ant swarm. The social organization of antbirds that form 
mixed foraging flocks, unassociated with army ants, is quite different. The 
main species involved belong to different species from the army ant followers. 
In the flocks studied by Munn, in Peru, the permanent, core members 
belonged to 6 species - 2 (larger) species of Thamnomanes; and 4 (smaller) 
species, 3 of Myrmotherula and one of Philydor. Furthermore, each species 
was represented in each flock by an adult pair with their dependent offspring 
(if any), and the flock territory was defended jointly by all flock members. 
Munn's study showed that flock territories and composition remained 
remarkably stable over 2 years. It seems possible that over large tracts of 
Amazonia the population of these core species is regulated and kept uniform 
one with another by the permanent structure of their foraging flocks. It 
also seems likely that mutual warning against predators (the small forest 
hawks of the genera Accipiter and Micrastur) is the most important function of 
these flocks. 

By comparison, the foraging flocks of tanagers, flycatchers, furnariids and 
other birds that move through the higher strata of the forest have remained 
little studied. It will be of great interest to compare these flocks, which are 
so much more difficult to observe and follow, with the mixed flocks at lower 
levels, and to compare all of them with the mixed feeding flocks of other 
continents, consisting as they do almost entirely of birds of different families. 

\Co-evolution of birds with other organisms 

More or less specialised co-adapted relationships between birds and plants 
ire perhaps more prevalent in tropical America than elsewhere. Two kinds 
of relationship are of prime importance: between fruit-eating birds and the 
fruits that they eat, and between nectarivorous birds and the flowers that they 

Co-evolution between specialised frugivorous birds and the fruits that they 
2at has involved a few main plant families, especially the Lauraceae (laurels), 
[the Palmae (palms) and Burseraceae (incense family). Trees belonging to 
dhese families bear highly nutritious fruits which can provide a complete, or 
ilmost complete, diet for specialised frugivorous birds such as toucans and 
,:otingas. Specialised frugivores are reliable dispersal agents, as they depend 

f j3n the fruits of particular kinds of tree. The tree invests a relatively large 
imount of its resources in each fruit, in the form of fats, proteins and carbo- 
hydrates, the high investment being the price that it pays for the services of 
reliable dispersal agents. Proof of these ideas is hard to obtain, but Howe & 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 128 

Primack (1975) have shown, in a detailed study of seed dispersal from one 
tree, that the dispersal of its seeds to suitable habitats is more likely to result 
from the behaviour characteristic of specialised frugivores than from that of 
unspecialised opportunist frugivores. 

Fruits adapted for dispersal by unspecialised frugivores belong to many 
different families, the 2 most important being the Melastomataceae and 
Rubiaceae. Plants bearing such fruits invest little of their resources in any 
one fruit; they mainly produce small succulent fruits (containing mainly 
sugars and little fat or protein), their strategy being to attract as many 
opportunist fruit-eaters as possible. The ramifications of these and other 
more subtle interactions between plants and frugivorous birds are only just 
beginning to be appreciated, and most of the research so far has been confined 
to tropical America(e.g.McKey 1 97 5, Morton 1 973, Howe & Estabrook 1977). 

A large and fast-growing literature deals with the co-evolutionary inter- 
actions between nectarivorous birds and the flowers that they exploit. A 
great impetus to such research has come from the fact that the amount of 
energy offered by the flower (in the form of simple sugars), its rate of pro- 
duction, and the efficiency with which hummingbirds can exploit it are all 
measurable in the field under favourable conditions, while laboratory 
measurements are available for the metabolic rate of hummingbirds under 
various conditions. The results of this research cannot possibly be sum- 
marised in a few lines, and it may only be mentioned that a broad division 
has been established between 2 fundamentally different foraging strategies 
for hummingbirds: territoriality and "trap-lining". Territorial species are 
generally small to medium-sized hummingbirds with short, straight bills, 
which exploit small unspecialised flowers which are densely enough clumped 
to provide a defendable resource. Trap-liners are generally larger species 
with long, often curved bills, which exploit large flowers with long corolla 
tubes to which their bills are adapted. Such flowers are usually too sparse to 
provide a defendable resource, so that the trap-liner (as its name implies) has 
to move round a large circuit in order to fulfil its needs. The most recent 
research has shown that not only bill size and shape but also aerodynamic 
features (wing disc loading) are involved in adaptation for either the terri- 
torial or the trap-lining way of life (Feinsinger & Chaplin 1975, Feinsinger 
et al. 1979). 

A quite different kind of co-adapted relationship, involving the association 
of nesting birds (several species of icterids and tyrant-flycatchers) with 
stinging or biting Hymenoptera, has been described by Smith (1968, 1979). 
Smith has shown that both partners in the association gain an advantage, the 
birds getting protection both from nest-predators and from bot-flies whose 
larvae attack the nestlings, and the insects getting protection against certain j|- 
birds and mammals which specialise in eating their larvae. There is a further 
surprising complication in the case of those icterids that are parasitised by the™- 
cowbird Scaphidura. Nestling Scaphidura are very efficient at removing andfci 
eating bot-fly larvae from themselves and from other nestlings in the nestfc, 
with them. Nests which are not protected by a wasps' nest thus benefit fromP 
being parasitised by the cowbird; but only if they contain a single young! 
cowbird. If there are 2 or more young cowbirds in the nest they usually! 
out-compete the host chicks for food, negating the advantage that they confeifc 
by ridding them of bot-fly larvae. 

129 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 1 00(1)] 

The tendency of certain birds to nest close to nests of stinging and biting 
Hymenoptera has been known for a long time. Smith's study, of which the 
above is a simplified summary, is the first to reveal the extraordinarily 
complex nature of such relationships. 

Literature, and the amateur contribution 

Nearly all the research to date on tropical American birds has come from 
professional ornithologists. There is no parallel to the amateur contribution 
that has made African birds so much better known than tropical American 
birds. For any amateur ornithologist visiting the region, the lack of adequate 
reference books has until recently been a major handicap. With the publication 
, during the last few years of a number of excellent field guides and handbooks 
I the situation is changing, and it may well be that significant additions to 
j knowledge of Neotropical birds will begin to come from expatriates tem- 
porarily resident in little known areas and from amateur ornithologists 
I making short visits with particular objectives. It is probably fair to say that 
j short-term visitors making more or less casual lists of species observed are 
unlikely to add very much, as the avifauna of the more accessible areas is too 
well known for such records to be very significant. This is by no means true, 
however, of nesting, feeding habits, and other aspects of the biology of even 
the most common species. 

For the visitor to any part of tropical South America, Meyer de Schauensee 
l'(i97o) is of the greatest value, and indispensable for anyone visiting a country 
that has not yet got its own handbook. There are still only a few countries 
that have up-to-date handbooks or field-guides: Colombia (Meyer de 
:: Schauensee 1964, now out of print), Venezuela (Meyer de Schauensee & 
■Phelps 1978), Guyana (Snyder 1966), Surinam (Haverschmidt 1968), and - 
iizoogeographically part of South America - Trinidad and Tobago (ffrench 

| I 973)- 

Central America is now well covered by up-to-date field-guides. The 
excellent book by Peterson & Chalif (1973) covers not only the birds of 
ijMexico but all species found in Guatemala, British Honduras (Belize) and El 
liSalvador. Most of the species in Ridgely (1976) extend west of Panama to 
[iCosta Rica and beyond. Thus Peterson & Chalif and Ridgely together include 
: the great majority of Central American birds. The only field-guide that covers 
all Central American species is that by Davis (1972); but this work needs to 
Hbe used with caution, as it contains many idiosyncrasies including much 
^unorthodox taxonomy and nomenclature (see review by Parkes 1973). 

Finally mention should be made of a major new work of reference by 
Emmet R. Blake, Manual of Neotropical Birds, to be completed in 4 volumes, 
of which the first has already appeared (Blake 1977). When complete, this 
will to a large extent replace the Catalogue of Birds of the Americas for the 
> student of Neotropical birds, and for the foreseeable future will remain the 
standard work on the distribution, description and taxonomy of Neotropical 
birds. It does not include data on ecology or behaviour, but gives references to 
the main publications that are available on the life history of each species. 

References : 
UBlake, E. R. 1977. Manual of Neotropical Birds. Vol. 1. Chicago and London; University of 
Chicago Press, 

[Bull. B.O.C. ipSo: 100(1)] 130 

Davis, L. I. 1972. A Field Guide (0 the Birds of Mexico and Central America. Austin: University 

of Texas Press. 
Feinsinger, P. & Chaplin, S. B. 1975. On the relationship between wing disc loading and 

foraging strategy in hummingbirds. Am. Nat. 109 : 217-224. 
Feinsinger, P., Colwell, R. K., Terborgh, J. & Chaplin, S. B. 1979. Elevation and the 

morphology, flight energetics, and foraging ecology of tropical hummingbirds. Am. 

Nat. 113: 481-497. 
ffrench, R. 1973. A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. Wynnewood, Pa.: Livingston 

Publishing Co. 
Haffer, J. 1970. Art-En tstehung bei einigen Waldvogeln Amazoniens./. Orn. 1 1 1 : 285-331. 

— 1974- Avian speciation in tropical South America. Publ. Nuttall Orn. Club, No. 14. 
Haverschmidt, F. 1968. Birds of Surinam. Edinburgh and London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Howe, H. F. & Estabrook, G. F. 1977. On intraspecific competition for avian dispersers 

in tropical trees. A m. Nat. 11 1: 817-832. 
Howe, H. F. & Primack, R. B. 1975. Differential seed dispersal by birds of the treeCasearia 

/////^z(Flacourtiaceae). Biotropica 7 : 278-283. 
Mayr, E. 1957. New species of birds described from 1941 to 1955./. Orn. 98: 22-35. 

— 1964. Inferences concerning the Tertiary American bird faunas. Proc. Nat. Acad. 
Sci. 51: 280-288. 

— 1971- New species of birds described from 195610 1965./. Orn. 112: 302-316. 

— & Phelps, W. H. 1967. The origin of the bird fauna of the south Venezuelan high- 
lands. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 136: 275-327. 

McKey, D. 1975. The ecology of coevolved dispersal systems, pp. 1 59-191 in Gilbert & 
Raven (eds.), Coevolution of Animals and Plants. Austin : University of Texas Press. 

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1964. The Birds of Colombia. Wynnewood, Pa.: Livingston 
Publishing Co. 

— 1970. A Guide to the Birds of South America. Wynnewood, Pa. : Livingston Publishing 

— & Phelps, W. H. 1978. A Guide to the Birds of Venezuela. Princeton: Princeton 
University Press. 

Morton, E. S. 1973. On the evolutionary advantages and disadvantages of fruit eating in 

tropical birds. Am. Nat. 107: 8-22. 
Munn, C. 1979. The ecology of mixed-species foraging flocks in passerines. M.Sc. thesis, 

Oxford University. 
O'Neill, J. P. & Graves, G. R. 1977. A new genus and species of owl (Aves: Strigidae) 

from Peru. Auk 94: 409-416. 
Parkes, K. C. 1973. (review.) Auk 90: 211-21(3. 
Peterson, R. T. & Chalif, E. L. 1973. A Field Guide to Mexican Birds. Boston: Houghton 

Mifflin Co. 
Ridgely, R. S. 1976. A Guide to the Birds of Panama. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 
Short, L. L. 1975. A zoogeographic analysis of the South American chaco avifauna. i?#//. 

Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 154:1 67-3 5 2. 
Sick, H. 1954. Zur Biologie des amazonischen Schirmvogels, Cephalopterus ornatus. f. Orn. 


— 1968. Vogelwanderungen im kontinentalen Sudamerika. Vogelwarte 24: 217-243. 
Simpson, B. B. & Haffer, J. 1978. Speciation patterns in the Amazonian forest biota. Ann. 

Rev. Ecol. Syst. 9 : 497-5 1 8 . 
Smith, N. G. 1968. The advantage of being parasitized. Nature 219: 690-694. 

— 1979- Some evolutionary, ecological, and behavioral correlates of communal nesting 
by birds with wasps or bees. Proc. XVII Int. Orn. Congr., in press. 

Snow, D. W. 1962a. A field study of the Black and White Manakin, Manacus manacus, in 
Trinidad. Zoologica 47 : 65-104. 

— 1962b. A field study of the Golden-headed Manakin, Pipra erythrocephala, in Trinidad, 
W . I. Zoologica 47 : 183-198. 

— & Lill, A. 1974. Longevity records for some neotropical land birds. Condor 76: 

— & Snow, B. K. 1963. Breeding and the annual cycle in three Trinidad thrushes. 
WilsonBull. 75 : 27-41. 

— & Snow, B. K. 1973. The breeding of the Hairy Hermit Glaucis hirsuta in Trinidad. 
Ardea 61 : 106-122. 

Snyder, D. E. 1966. TheBirds of Guyana. Salem, Mass. : Peabody Museum. 

1 3 1 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 

Vuilleumier, F. 1969a. Systematics and evolution in Diglossa (Aves, Coerebidae). Am. Mus. 
Novit. 2381. 

— 1969b. Pleistocene speciation in birds living in the High Andes. Nature zz$ : 1179- 
11 80. 

Willis, E. O. 1967. The behavior of Bicolored Antbirds. Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool. 79: 1-127. 

— 1972. The behavior of Spotted Antbirds. Orn. Monogr. (A.O.U.) 10. 

— 1973. The behavior of Ocellated Antbirds. Smithson. Contr. Zool. 144. 

— 1974- Populations and local extinctions of birds on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. 
Ecol. Monogr. 44 : 1 5 3-169. 

Address: Dr. D. W. Snow, British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts., England. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 


Kale, Herbert W. (Editor). 1979. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Vol. 2. Birds. Pp. 121. 
Black-and-white photographs. Soft covers. University Presses of Florida. 7 dollars. 

A glossy, illustrated account of the status of birds in Florida whose populations are 
endangered, threatened, rare or of special concern, with well composed sections for each 
species on range, habitat, life history and ecology, basis of classification, recommendations 
for conservation and distribution maps. A comprehensive and most informative review. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(1)] 132 

The seven hundred and twenty fourth Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Common |j 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday, 15 January 1980 at 
7 p.m. The attendance was 24 Members and 10 guests. 

Members present were : P. HOGG {Chairman), Major N. A. G. H. BEAL, D. R. CALDER, 
R. A. N. CROUCHER, O. J. H. DA VIES, Professor J. H. ELGOOD, D. J. FISHER, 
C. J. MEAD, Dr J. F. MONK, J. G. PARKER, R. E. F. PEAL, P. S. REDMAN, S. A. H. 

Guests present were: Dr. C. J. Bibby (speaker), Dr. R. A. Cheke, C. L. Hodgetts, G. P. 
McCulloch, Mrs. I. McCulloch, R. J. G. Macy, Dr. Amicia Melland, Miss E. V. Pilcher, 
Dr. K. W. Smith and Mrs. E. J. Wood. 

Dr. C. J. Bibby spoke on "Ecological aspects of migration". He discussed why some 
birds should be territorial on migration, instancing Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus 
and Sedge Warblers A. schoenobaenus, the former being territorial in Iberia on autumn 
migration but not the latter. These species are superficially similar but have different 
feeding behaviours. 

The seven hundred and twenty fifth Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday, 4 March 1980 at 7 p.m. 
The attendance was 18 Members and 8 guests. 

Members present were: Dr. J. F. MONK {Chairman), Dr. C. H. FRY (speaker), P. J. 
and C. R. WOOD. 

Guests present were: Miss M. Barry, J. A. Button, Dr. R. A. Cheke, Dr. Judith Coles, 
S. J. W. Coles, Miss H. Fisher, Mrs. R. E. F. Peal and C. Watts. 

Dr. C. H. Fry spoke on "Kingfishers" and kindly supplied the following summary: — ■ 

Analysis of affinities among the 87 kingfisher species suggests that they arose in the region 
from northern Australasia (Daceloninae) to south-east Asia (Alcedininae), whence they 
have repeatedly invaded the Palaearctic, the Afrotropics, the New World (spawning the 
Cerylinae) and the Pacific. They provide an excellent illustration of adaptive radiation, and 
from original lives as deep-forest sit-and-wait insectivores they have specialized variously 
as predators of small vertebrates in open country, of snails, crabs, earthworms, flying 
insects, small aquatic mammals and ultimately of fish. The most effective fishers are the few 
species which plunge-dive from hovering flight, a technique which has evolved in all three 
subfamilies. The family also demonstrates : polyphyletic toe-loss ; neoteny ; and the evolu- 
tion of congeneric sympatry by way of size change. (See The LivingBird, Nineteenth Annual 

24 MAR 1980 




No. I. 

The Inaugural Meeting took place at the Mona Hotel, 
Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, on Wednesday, October 5th, 

Chairman : P. L. Sclater, F.R.S. 

The following Members of the British Ornithologists' Union 
were also present: — E. Bidwell, W. T. Blanford, F.R.S,, 
Philip Crowley, W. Graham, W. R. Ooilvie Grant, T. J. 
Monk, F. Penrose, Count T. Salvadori, Howard Saunders, 
W. L. Sclater, Henry Seebohm, R. Bowdler Sharpe, H. T. 
Wharton, and John Younq. 

Guests : Mr. E. Deoen, Mr. W. P. Pycrapt, Mr. Oldfield 
Thomas, Mr. A. Smith Woodward. 

The Rules of the Club were proposed and adopted. A 
Committee was appointed, consisting of Mr. E. Bidwell, the 
Earl op Gainsborough, and Mr. H. Seebohm, with the 
Editor of 'The Ibis/ Mr. Howard Saunders was elected 
Secretary and Treasurer to the Club. 

It was determined to hold a Meeting on the third Wednes- 
day in every month from October to June inclusive. An 
abstract of the proceedings to be printed as soon as possible 
after each Meeting, under the title of the Bulletin of the 
British Ornithologists 1 Club, and distributed gratis to every 
Member. Copies of this monthly r Bulletin ' will be published 
by Mr. R. H. Porter, 18 Princes Street, Cavendish Square, W. 

Dr. R. Bowdler Sharpe was appointed Editor of the 
' Bulletin.' 

Reproduced from the menu of the 



Combined Dinner 8 March 1939 

Agenda of the 416th Meeting of the Club held 
on 8 March 1939 after the Dinner:— 

Mons. L. LIPPENS: Lantern Slides of W est African Birds 

Miss C. LONGFIELD: Film of African Wild Life 

Dr. J. BERRY: Lantern Slides of British Wild Geese 

Mr. R. ATKINSON : Lantern Slides of the Griffon Vulture 

in Spain 

A Film of the Courtship Display of the Great Bustard lent by 


ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 



British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 100 No. 2 

June 1980 


Tuesday, 8 July 1980 at the Senior Common Room, South Side, Imperial 
College, Princes Gardens, S.W.7 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. Mr. Richard Porter 
on Raptor migration in Europe and the Middle East. Those wishing to attend 
should send their acceptances with a cheque for £4.60 a person to the Hon. 
Secretary at 2 Chestnut Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3 AR (telephone Seven- 
oaks (0732) 503 1 3) to arrive not later than first post on Thursday, 3 July 1980. 

Tuesday, 16 September 1980 at the same venue at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. 
Mr. J. A. Hancock on his recent Expedition to the Chaco and Corrientes 
in N. Argentina. Mr. Hancock was senior author o£"The Herons of the World" 
(1978) and the area visited has little-known and interesting heron species. 
Those wishing to attend should send their acceptance with a cheque for £4.75 
a person to the Hon. Secretary (address above) to arrive not later than first 
post on Thursday, 1 1 September 1980. 

Gifts or offers for sale of unwanted back numbers of the 
Bulletin are very welcome 

D. R. Coldet (Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal(//o». Secretary) 


J. G. Parker 

R. A. N. Croucher 


B. Gray ( Vice-Chairman) 

Mrs. D. M. Bradley (Hon. Treasurer) 
R. D. Chancellor 

C. F. Mann 

British Ornithologists' Club 

133 %> .' "-, [BulLB.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Bulletin of the \* '" 


Vol. 1 00 No. 2 Published : 20 June 1 980 


Hon. Secretary V report 

Inflation at a high rate yet again posed serious problems for the Club and 
printing costs were raised 20% in May. Subscription rates for both Members 
and non-member Bulletin Subscribers had been raised to take effect last year, 
so it is pleasant to report that numbers of both rose during the year; it is 
also gratifying that there were larger attendances at the Meetings. 

Seven Meetings were held, those in January, March, April, May, Septem- 
ber and November being in the Senior Common Room, South Side, Imperial 
College and the one in July at the Goat Tavern. Dinner at Imperial College 
was £3.80 in January rising to £4.30 in November; for the Goat Tavern 
£3.15. The increased proportion held at Imperial College has been due to 
numbers becoming too large for the Goat and to the excellent catering and 
accommodation at Imperial College. Attendances at Meetings totalled 243, 
the most since 1964 (when there were 9 Meetings), and the 50 present in 
March (speaker the late Mr. J. D. England) the highest number at a Meeting 
for over 15 years. 

Forty-seven new Members joined, resignations numbered 16 and 13 Mem- 
bers were struck off under Rule (4). The Committee deeply regrets to report 
the deaths of Dr. D. A. Bannerman, O.B.E., M.A., Sc.D., Ll.D., F.R.S.E. 
(Member 1910-1978, Editor 1914-1915, Hon. Secretary and Treasurer 1918- 
1919, Chairman 1932-193 5, Vice-Chairman 1939-1940), Mr. C. S. Barlow 
(Member 1957-1979), Mrs. G. M. Chadwick-Healey (Member 1 947-1 979), 
Dr. F. Gudmundsson (Member 1 947-1 979) and Baron Charles M. G. de 
Worms, Ph.D., F.R.I. C. (Member 1 924-1 979). Dr. Bannerman, best known 
of today's Members for his many excellent books on ornithology, is the only 
person to have held all the elected offices in the Club : an obituary has already 
appeared in Ibis (121: 520-522). Charles de Worms, known affectionately 
among Members as 'The Baron', came to Meetings frequently throughout 
his 5 5 years in the Club and almost certainly came to more than any other 
Member in the history of the Club. The Committee also much regret to 
report that Miss I. Phyllis Barclay-Smith, C.B.E., a well-known and popular 
Member who joined in 1933, suffered a stroke on 25 December last and died 
8 days later. 

At the end of the year there were 309 paid-up Members and 146 non- 
member Bulletin Subscribers, increases on a year before of 8 and 5 respec- 
tively. Plans have been made for 1980 with a special centennial Bulletin 
number and for 8 Meetings, which the Committee hopes will also enjoy good 
support. An increased Bulletin circulation is important to enable the size of 
the Bulletin to be maintained without heavy rises in charges and it is hoped 
that Members will do their best to recruit new Members and Subscribers. 

Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31st December, 1979 

1979 1978 







Members' Subscriptions 





3,047 " 



Income Tax Recovered 

Deeds of Covenant 






Investment and Deposit Income 

General Fund 



Trust Fund 




Rent — Less Expenses 

Property 'Clovelly', Tring 



Sales oiBulletin — Back Numbers 



Authors' Costs 







Cost of Printing Back Numbers 



Cost of Publication of Bulletin 



Distribution Costs 



Notices of Meeting 



Audit and Accountancy 



Meeting Expenses 



Miscellaneous Expenditure and Postage . . 



Treasurer's Expenses 



Projector Depreciation 




3> T 77 

Excess of Income over Expenditure 


We have prepared the attached Balance Sheet and Income and Expenditure Account from the books, vouchers and 
information presented to us and certify that they are in accordance therewith. 

29A Bridge Street, Searle Inskip Freed & Co. 

Pinner, Middlesex 8 April 1980 Chartered Accountants 

General Fund 

Balance at 3 1st December 1978 

Add: Excess of Income over Expenditure 

Bulletin Fund 
Royal Society 

British Ornithologists' Union 
Members' Donations 

Trust Fund 

F. J. F. Barrington Legacy 

Less: Loss on Sale of War Stock 

Represented by : — 

Fixed Assets 

Projecion and Screen — Cost 

Less: Depreciation 

Current Assets 

Stock oiBulletin — Nominal Value . . 

Cash at Bank 

National Savings Bank 
Tax Repayment Due 

Less: Current Liabilities 


Subscriptions Paid in Advance 
Rent Paid in Advance 

General Fund Investments 
£100 8£% Treasury Loan 1980/82 (M.V. £85) 
Less: Reserve 

Balance Sheet as at 31st December, 1979 





2,369 - 







660 - 






445 " 




Trust Fund Investments 

£880 ji% Treasury Stock 2008/1 2 (Market Value £440) 



2,939 - 

80 - 












t,5 2 4 





1 3 5 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Editor's report 

Volume 99 of the Bulletin contained 156-fxxi pages. Delays from receipt 
of papers to publication remained at 6-10 months. There were 45 main papers 
varying from 1 to 9 pages, averaging about 3 pages, and 10 'In Brief' notes, 
besides notice of 5 books received and the Club notes. Authorships of the 
55 papers were British (at home or abroad — 23), American (n), Argentine 
(1), Australian (4), Belgian (2), Brazilian (1), West German (3), South Afri- 
can (4), Swedish (1) and Taiwan (1). There was the usual welcome spread 
of subjects covering a broad spectrum of the world's avifauna in taxonomy 
and field studies. Several back numbers of the Bulletin have been reprinted 
so that there is now a complete stock from Volume 49. 

Hon. Treasurer's report 

High interest rates and judicious transfers between current and deposit 
accounts have increased the Club's investment income. Thus the Club's 
finances appear to be in a satisfactory state, with an excess of income over 
expenditure of £S 5 5 . A rise in the number of covenants made by Members 
has more than compensated for a lower rate of tax recoverable. Sale of back 
numbers shows a small income on balance despite the costs of reprinting. 
The figures for subscriptions include arrears collected last year. However the 
current year will undoubtedly see increasing printing costs, and postage rates 
have risen twice within the last several months. 

Mr. D. R. Calder, Mr. P. J. Oliver and Mr. J. G. Parker have been 
appointed trustees of the Barrington Trust in place of Lloyds Bank Ltd., who 
are resigning. 

The Annual General Meeting following the eighty-eighth year of the British Ornithologists' 
Club was held at Imperial College, London, S.W.7, on Tuesday, 13 May 1980 at 6 p.m. 
with Mr. P. Hogg in the Chair. Nine Members were present. 

The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 1 5 May 1 979 (Bull. Brit. Ortt. CI. 
99 : 41) were approved and signed by the Chairman. 

The Report of the Committee and Accounts for 1979 were presented by the Hon. Secre- 
tary and Hon. Treasurer. After a brief discussion it was proposed by the Hon. Secretary 
and seconded by Mr. J. H. Elgood that they be received and adopted and this was car- 
ried unanimously. On matters related to the Bulletin, Mr. Elgood remarked on the out- 
standing interest of Vol. 100 No. 1. 

The Chairman reported that Dr. G. Beven had regretfully stated that he must withdraw 
his willingness to serve as Chairman owing to the state of his health. In view of this, the 
Chairman had nominated and the Hon. Secretary had seconded, in accordance with Rule 
(1), Mr. D. R. Calder for election as Chairman and Mr. B. Gray for election as Vice- 
Chairman. The following elections were then made unanimously : — 

Chairman: Mr. D. R. Calder (vice Mr. P. Hogg, who retired on completion of his term 
of office). 

Vice-Chairman: Mr. B. Gray (vice Dr. G. Beven, who retired on completion of his term 
of office). 

There being no nominations additional to those of the Committee in respect of the fol- 
lowing, they were declared elected as follows : — 

Editor: Dr. J. F. Monk (re-elected). 

Hon. Treasurer: Mrs. D. M. Bradley (re-elected). 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. R. E. F. Peal (re-elected). 

Committee: Mr. R. A. N. Croucher (vice Mr. B. Gray, who retired by rotation). 

The Hon. Secretary proposed and the Editor seconded a vote of thanks to the Chair- 
man for the kind, firm way in which he had presided over the Club for the last three years 
and this was carried unanimously. 

The Meeting closed at 6. 1 2 p.m. 

[Bull.B.O.C 1980: 100(2)] 136 

The seven hundred and twenty sixth Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Com- 
mon Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday 15 April 1980 at 
6.45 p.m. to mark the 100th Volume of the Bulletin. The attendance was 39 Members and 
32 guests. 

Members present were: P. HOGG (Chairman), J. K. ADAMS, Major N. A. G. H. BEAL, 
CROUCHER, O. J. H. DAVIES, Dr. J. A. DICK, Professor J. H. ELGOOD, Sir HUGH 

Guests present were: F. B. S. ANTRAM, Miss M. BARRY, D. BRADLEY, Dr. J. D. 
HUTSON, Dr. Janet KEAR (Editor of Ibis), Professor R. D. KEYNES, G. P. 
MILNE, Mrs. J. F. MONK, M. R. M. MONK, Dr. R. J. O'CONNOR (Director, B.T.O.), 
Miss E. V. PILCHER, I. PRESTT (Director, R.S.P.B.), D. B. SHIRT, Mrs. Barbara K. 
SNOW, S. SNOW, C. STACK, Mrs. B. VITTERY, K. E. WILTSHER, (Manager, Caxton 
& Holmesdale Press). 

Mr. J. H. R. Boswall, the Earl of Cranbrook, Mr. R. Gillmor, Dr. Janet Kear, Dr. R. J. 
O'Connor, Mr. I. Prestt, Dr. D. W. Snow and Mr. K. E. Wiltsher were specially invited 
as guests of the Club. 

The Chairman spoke and proposed the toast of The Guests. The Rt. Hon. the Earl of 
Cranbrook, Ph.D., Editor of Ibis 1973-1980, replied and proposed the toast of The Bulletin, 
to which the Editor responded. The text of the Earl of Cranbrook's speech is printed below 
(at page 137). 

Dr. D. W. Snow, Head of the Sub-Department of Ornithology, British Museum (Natural 
History), then gave an illustrated talk on his recent visit to southeastern Brazil, the main 
purpose of which was to make arrangements for a survey of the endangered avifauna of the 
coastal forests. It is hoped that this survey will be a B.O.U. - sponsored research project and 
will be supported by the World Wildlife Fund. He described three forest areas in the states 
of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo, each with a different avifauna including 
many endemics. The highlight was a series of observations of the very rare curassow Crax 
blumenbachii ', including the finding (by a forest warden) of a nest with eggs, in the only area 
of the forest where this large gamebird is thought to survive. 

Mr. J. H. R. Boswall, B.B.C., then introduced two films which he had directed, "Wild- 
life Safari to Mexico, Sea of Cortez" and "Wildlife Safari to Thailand, Temple Storks". 

The Meeting closed at about 10.30 p.m. 

The seven hundred and twenty-seventh Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Com- 
mon Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday, 13 May 1980 at 
7 p.m. The attendance was 28 Members and 18 guests. 

Members present were: D. R. CALDER (Chairman), P. J. BELMAN, K. F. BETTON, 
Dr. J. F. MONK, P. J. OLIVER, J. G. PARKER, R. E. F. PEAL, P. J. SELLAR, Prof. 
and C.R.WOOD. 

137 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Guests present were: Miss M. BARRY, D. BRADLEY, Miss S. W. CONDER, Mr. and 
Mrs. H. CULLINHAM, Mr. and Mrs. N. CURTIS, Mrs. J. H. ELGOOD, Mrs. B. M. 
GIBBS, Mrs. U. HODGINS, Mrs. J. M. HOGG, Dr. C. IMBODEN, Mr. and Mrs. 
G. R. C. LUMSDEN, Mrs. R. E. F. PEAL, Mrs. G. H. N. SETON- WATSON and Mr. 

Dr. L. H. Brown, O.B.E., gave an address on Flamingos and Pelicans on the Rift Val- 
ley lakes in Kenya. He explained the unforseen results of the introduction of the fish Tilapia 
grahami to Lake Nakuru from Lake Magadi by the health authorities to control mosquitos, 
following the declaration of the former as a nature park. He dealt particularly with Great 
White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus, Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus ruber and Lesser Flam- 
ingos Phoenicoparrus minor and illustrated his address with fine colour slides. 

Reflections of an ex-editor 

by Earl of Cranbrook 

(retiring Editor of the Ibis). 

Adapted from a speech in reply to the toast of 'The Guests' at the meeting held 
to commemorate the 100th volume of the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 

In the 121 years of its existence, there have been only 15 Editors of the Ibis. 
Some incumbents have shown great endurance. Besides the 40 years (alone 
or jointly) of P. L. Sclater, the 28 of W. L. Sclater or 14 of R. E. Moreau, 
my 7 years in office rank as a trivial contribution. Modesty should inhibit 
me from public utterance of opinions formed during so comparatively brief 
a term. Yet the invitation to respond to your Chairman's toast on this his- 
toric occasion, coupled with the urging of your Editor (who is also among 
my predecessors) to drag out my reply 'for quite 1 5 minutes or more', prompt 
me to discuss views on matters relating to the publication, funding, prepar- 
ation and editing of ornithological research papers. 


The promulgation of results or conclusions is an integral step in the scien- 
tific process. Although the spoken word is useful for an initial presentation, 
this medium is too transitory and too limited in its audience to suffice as a 
sole record. Publication in a book or journal is the accepted proper culmin- 
ation of an episode of scientific research. Modern electronic devices may 
change the means of storage, transmission or retrieval, but print on paper 
is likely to remain the most convenient and durable form of record for 
ordinary purposes. 

It follows that every research project — even if comparatively trivial — 
should be designed to end with the preparation of a written report. In orni- 
thology (especially field ornithology, in which the doing is the fun) this goal 
can recede once the active phase of accumulation of data is over. It is com- 
mon experience that adherence to deadlines is very difficult under the most 
favourable circumstances. All too often the demands of a developing career 
involve new, unrelated research objectives. More mundane but no less pres- 
sing social or professional obligations can intrude. Nonetheless, any orni- 
thologist who, for instance, accepts a grant or participates in an expedition 
thereby incurs an obligation to prepare and submit a report in a form fit for 
publication. Conversely, those who administer grants or plan expeditions 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 138 

must make adequate provision, in time and in funds, to allow participants 
to fulfil this obligation. Although these two complementary aspects may seem 
self-evident, both are not always given sufficient consideration. 


In ornithology, as generally in the biological sciences in U.K., there exists 
a wide option of specialist outlets for research papers. The periodicals have 
remarkably diverse administrative and financial backgrounds. Some are 
wholly commercial ventures, some the productions of research institutes 
operating under forms of charitable trust, others the journals of societies or 
associations that may be national, regional or local, or devoted to restricted 
taxonomic groups of birds. In the publication of Ibis, the B.O.U. has entered 
into an agreement with Academic Press. This arrangement is similar to those 
made by other biological journals. I suspect that the widespread formation 
of associations of this nature between publishing firms and learned societies 
has been a vitalising factor in post-war scientific publication. 

There is of course no British national ornithological institute to match the 
ornithological sections of the national academies of science that exist in many 
other countries, nor is there a state-supported national ornithological jour- 
nal. Yet in ornithology, as in other branches of biology, much (if not most) 
research nowadays is funded by government, either directly at research insti- 
tutes (I.T.E., B.A.S., etc.) or the British Museum (Natural History), or 
indirectly by grant (through N.E.R.C, etc.). Government research institutes 
do produce publications, but these are devoted chiefly or exclusively to 
'house' research. For their papers the staff of these institutes also seek other 
outlets, including the Ibis. 

When the costs of the national research effort are largely supported by 
government, I find it anomalous that the expenses of the publication of 
results in the leading British ornithological journal should be borne by the 
1800 or so subscribing members of B.O.U. in their joint venture with 
Academic Press. In order to test the opportunities to vary this feature of 
accepted practice, a little more than 3 years ago (following a B.O.U. Coun- 
cil decision) a couple of sentences were added at the foot of the 'Notice to 
contributors'. These words were printed in italics to give prominence to their 
message : 

Authors whose grant-support includes provision for the costs of publication are 

requested to notify the Editor of this fact. Any such funds offered will be used to 

increase the numbers of pages in the Ibis, and for no other purpose. (1977, Ibis 119, 

no. 1). 

To date no author, as far as I recollect, has spontaneously informed the 
Editor that such funds are available. After prompting, several authors have 
provided all or part of the actual costs of printing their papers. Only one 
such contributor was based in the U.K. As he knows, it is not from disrespect 
for his gesture that I mention that he could only pay for one-third of a page. 
The Ibis will not falter and certainly will never fail for lack of these funds. 
Yet it seems a ripe moment to ask when grant-seekers and grant-givers in 
our own country will turn their attention to this subject. 


The obligation of the ornithologist, as a scientist, to publish the results 
of his research ought not be translated into precipitance. In the popular 

139 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

image, influenced by literature such as The Double Helix (Watson 1968), the 
scientist is driven by the urge to be first in an intense, even bitter, profes- 
sional race. In interpretative ornithology, ideas may (and perhaps do) arise 
at the same time in different minds with genuine intellectual independence. 
Field or experimental ornithology, on the other hand, contains a sufficiently 
strong descriptive component to prevent complete overlap between gen- 
uinely independent projects. No doubt it is wise to ensure, as far as possible, 
that a prospective study is not already engaging another ornithologist. Yet 
even when the reports of two separate investigations of the same topic were 
submitted to me nearly simultaneously, it was still possible to recognise dif- 
ferences in content and to publish both on adjacent pages (Burtt 1975, 
Hodges 1975). Undue haste to obtain pre-emptive publication is probably 
often not in the best interests of science and certainly very rarely propitious 
in human relations. 

Very early in my editorial term, a referee advised me that a certain sub- 
mission had already been published in almost identical form in a local nat- 
ural history bulletin. In accordance with the clear statement on this matter 
in the 'Notice to contributors', I refused the paper. For this I was chided 
by a senior supporter of the author, who claimed that by withholding the 
opportunity to publish (re-publish in this case) in the Ibis I was damaging 
a young man's professional prospects. On similar grounds, on other occasions, 
other correspondents have asked for concessionary treatment for themselves 
or their proteges. It is worrying to be told (sometimes at length, on the tele- 
phone, once from as far as Texas) that a career is in jeopardy, but this can- 
not be a factor to influence editorial decisions. 

It is also rather widely believed that a professional biologist is esteemed 
and his promotion facilitated more by the number of his published papers 
than by their content. If proof is needed, this contention is supported (a little 
unfairly) by the evident tendency for the output of older, established orni- 
thologists to become increasingly repetitive. Again, I was once rebuked by 
my most constant self-appointed critic for including a paper, by one such 
figure, that contained only a small nugget of originality couched in a volu- 
minous recapitulation of earlier published work. In this case, the original sub- 
mission had in fact suffered massive editorial excisions and, in consideration 
of all circumstances, I felt that my decision was right. I am sure that the orni- 
thologist should plan to publish his work in an organised fashion, through 

i a carefully selected variety of outlets. But the author who aims for quantity 
through replication will certainly provoke irritation among editors and, in 
the end, forfeit the respect of his colleagues. 

Sir Peter Medawar (1979, p. 63) felt 'disloyal but dauntingly truthful in 
saying that most scientists do not know how to write'. This opinion has been 
held for many years, both by literary men and by scientists of eminence 
(Galton 1908). With the great proliferation of scientific output in recent 

1 decades, the activity of advising writers has itself shown reflected growth. 
A selection of publications concerned only with the English language 
includes those of the Royal Society (1950), Conference of Biological Editors 

• (i960), Hawkins (1967), Sanford (1967, 1968), Council of Biology Editors 

1 (1972), O'Connor & Woodford (1975) and the International Steering Com- 
mittee of Medical Editors (1979). 

The Ibis seeks to report new ornithology from all parts of the globe and 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 140 

to attract readers and contributors from the international field. Authors 
whose mother-tongue is not English should not be deterred and, in practice, 
are not. All past Editors have presumably been as willing as myself to under- 
take wholesale revision and rewriting in such cases. Between American and 
British usage of our common language there are small divergencies in spel- 
ling of which we, as the minority, cannot expect our Transatlantic homoglots 
to be aware. There tend also to be less acceptable differences in style and 
convention, particularly in the use of jargon, which again require sympathetic 
but sometimes wholesale revision. My chief animadversion is towards authors 
from universities or research institutes who fail to take advantage of the com- 
parative wealth of constructive, practical advice on the procedures of scienti- 
fic writing and publication now available through the services of any library. 
The amateur can be excused many solecisms, but the student or qualified pro- 
fessional should approach the composition of his written work with as much 
care and rigour as he does the preceding stages of his research programme. 
At first experience, the formal structure of a scientific paper may strike the 
tyro as unduly restrictive. The traditional literary qualities — variety, vivid- 
ness of expression, lightness of touch, deft verbal devices, etc. — are rarely 
compatible with the standardised progression of topics and the unremitting 
requirements of precision and conciseness in a scientific paper. The beginner 
needs instruction and practise in the writing of reports. I urge lecturers, 
supervisors or heads of research departments to ensure that those for whom 
they have responsibility are given the opportunity to learn before they make 
their first submission to an editor. There may even be some among the 
instructors, too, who could profitably consult the references listed above. In 
more than one British institution, in my opinion, the introduction of a short 
course on scientific writing would be of equal benefit to staff and students. 


Although I have complained (above) that in this country the national 
funding of research does not extend to the support of specialist periodicals 
such as the Ibis, this situation may not be without benefit. Editorial policy 
is beholden only to the Council and membership of B.O.U., and is inde- 
pendent of external pressure. To this extent, British ornithologists are in con- 
trol of their own publication medium. 

At present, any supplementary funds received from authors are used to 
meet the costs of extra pages, in excess of the annual total stipulated in the 
agreement with Academic Press. A more significant income from this source 
might permit, among other things, the recruitment of a full-time salaried 
editor. Yet, again, at present the Editor, receiving merely a small honorarium 
that for years has been wholly incommensurate with the work involved, is 
the servant only of his conscience (subject to election or re-election for a 4- 
year term). This freedom is a welcome element in the present system. 

The editor draws upon the specialist assistance of referees in assessing the 
technical competence of a submission. There is no fixed panel of referees and, 
given the very wide scope of material acceptable for publication ('the entire 
field of ornithology', interpreted in practice as anything involving birds), it 
would probably be difficult to select a small group of persons with sufficiently 
wide expertise. Choice of referees has been a matter of judgement, taking 
into account factors including availability (many ornithologists manage to 

141 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

spend a lot of time abroad and incommunicado), research interests, willing- 
ness, astuteness and thoroughness. 

In many instances, even the most percipient and assiduous referee can only 
give a qualified recommendation. Excepting papers that are so brilliant or 
so abysmal that the process of referal is largely redundant, the final judge- 
ment must still lie with the editor. Only he can assess a submission in the 
context of others already received, accepted or awaiting publication. It is his 
responsibility to impose an acceptable degree of uniformity in style and 
presentation that contributes to the recognised qualities of his journal. It is 
his function to encourage an interchange, involving the author(s), himself 
and the referee, if necessary, that will achieve a compromise acceptable to 
all interests. It is not always easy, but if successful the editor plays a useful 
part in this, the final stage of the research project. I am happy to say that 
I have received many more thanks than curses in the process, and these have 
contributed towards the satisfaction of editing Ibis. 

I thank the librarians of the Linnean Society and Zoological Society of 
London for the selection and loan of certain literature cited in this paper. 

References : 

Burtt, E. H., Jr. 1975. Cliff-facing interaction between parent and chick Kittiwakes Rissa 

tridactyla in Newfoundland. Ibis 117: 241-242. 
Conference of Biological Editors, i960. Style Manual for Biological Journals. Washington, 

D.C. : American Institute of Biological Sciences. 
Council of Biology Editors. 1972. CBE Style Manual ($td edn.). Washington, D.C: Ameri- 
can Institute of Biological Sciences. 
Galton, F. 1908. Suggestions for improving the literary style of scientific memoirs. Trans. 

R. Soc. Lit. 28(2), 17 pp. 
Hawkins, C. H. 1967. Speaking and Writing in Medicine. Springfield, Illinois: Thomas. 
Hodges, A. F. 1975. The orientation of adult Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla at the nest site 

in Northumberland. Ibis 117: 235-240. 
International Steering Committee of Medical Editors. 1979. Uniform requirements for 

manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Med. Lab. Sci. 36: 319-328. 
Medawar, P. B. 1979. Advice to a Young Scientist. New York: Harper & Row. 
O'Connor, M. & Woodford, F. P. 1975. Writing Scientific Papers in English. Amsterdam: 

Royal Society. 1950 (2nd revised edition, 1965). General Notes on the Preparation of Scientific 

Papers. London : Royal Society. 
Sanford, F. B. 1967. Organising the Research Report to Reveal the Units of Research. U.S. Dept. 

Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service, circ. 272. 
Sanford, F. B. 1968. Organising the Technical Article. U.S Dept. Interior, Fish & Wildlife 

Service, circ. 269. 
Watson, J. D. 1968. The Double Helix. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 

Address: The Earl of Cranbrook, Ph.D., Great Glemham House, Great Glemham, Sax- 
mundham, Suffolk IP 17 iLP. 

The type locality oiRheinartia ocellata nigrescens Rothschild 
by G. W. H. Davison 

Received 8 September 1979 
The Peninsular Malaysian subspecies of the Crested Argus Kheinartia 
ocellata nigrescens was described by Rothschild (1902) from 2 male and 1 
female specimens taken by J. Waterstradt's Dayak collectors. In the original 
description the type locality was given as "the eastern Malay Peninsula, at 
Ulu Pahang", that is, an imprecisely defined region around the headwaters 
of the Pahang river. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 142 

Robinson (1906) reported that "the three original specimens . . . were 
secured, according to information obtained by me, by Mr. Waterstradt's 
native hunters on the Ulu Dong, a river [which] takes its rise on Gunong 
Benom". The way in which this information was obtained was not given. 
Robinson's statement seems to have been the basis for quoting Ulu Dong, or 
Sungei Ulu Dong, as the type locality by Beebe (1922), Gibson-Hill (1949) 
and Medway (1972). There are no specimens specifically from the mountain 
Gunung Benom in the American Museum of Natural History, British 
Museum (Natural History) or the University of Singapore (the former 
Raffles Museum collection). Four of Waterstradt's specimens from the 
Rothschild collection, including the lectotype (AMNH 544050) and 2 para- 
lectotypes, are in the American Museum of Natural History, all bearing the 
locality Ulu Pahang and dates from October 1901 to January 1902. Two 
more, again from Ulu Pahang and dated January 1902, are in the British 
Museum (Natural History). 

Gunung Benom is a rounded granite mountain with broad ridges and no 
very steep faces, isolated from montane forest on the Main Range to the 
west by 27km and from Gunung Tahan to the northeast by 62km. Gunung 
Tahan and its outlier Gunung Rabong, where calls were heard and feathers 
collected in 1972 (Wells 1975) and birds seen in 1976 (Davison 1978), are 
both steep sandstone mountains with scattered granitic intrusions and knife- 
edge ridges. On Gunung Rabong the birds' calls are so loud and frequent 
that one cannot spend a day in the 700-1000 m altitude region without 
hearing them. Since 1977 I have climbed Gunung Benom fully or in part by 
3 routes: in September 1977 by the northeast ridge on the same route as 
Medway (1972); in February 1978 up the banks of the Ulu Dong on the 
northwest; and in May 1979 to the stone pinnacle of Batu Gambar Orang 
on a southeast ridge. On none of these trips did I find any evidence of R. 0. 
nigrescens, although this was the main target in each case and although 7 other 
phasianid species were seen or heard. 

Robinson's restriction of the type locality to Ulu Dong led to the inclusion 
of Gunung Benom in this bird's range by later authors (Robinson & Chasen 
1936, Gibson-Hill 1949, Delacour 195 1, Medway & Wells 1976). Although 
Ulu Pahang is not a precisely defined area, Gunung Benom clearly does not 
lie within it, whereas Gunung Tahan may be considered to do so. Water- 
stradt collected birds on Tahan from May till at least November 1901 
(Hartert 1902), overlapping the dates when the type series was obtained, and 
Hartert, who mentioned these specimens, specifically stated that he was 
reporting on birds collected on that mountain. There is no river Dong on 
Gunung Tahan, but a river Gedong drains a subsidiary peak near the 
present ascent route from the southeast (Directorate of National Mapping, 
Malaysia, Series L7010, sheet 58). 

My visits suggest that this bird does not occur anywhere round the flanks 
of Gunung Benom. Specimens, sightings and clear descriptions exist only 
from Tahan and Rabong, and I consider that it is only found on that sand- 
stone massif, which simplifies the picture of its distribution and ecological 
requirements. I therefore reject Robinson's restriction of the type locality, 
and restrict it instead to the middle slopes of Gunung Tahan, northern 
Pahang in the Malay Peninsula. 

143 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Acknowledgments: I thank Dr. D. R. Wells for frequent discussions, Dr. K. C. Searle 
for participating in one climb, and Mr. I. C. J. Galbraith and Dr. J. Farrand Jr. for in- 
formation on specimens at Tring and New York. This work was performed during tenure 
of a Commonwealth Scholarship and a grant from the New York Zoological Society. 

References : 

Beebe, W. 1922. A Monograph of the Pheasants. Vol. 4. Witherby : London. 

Davison, G. W. H. 1978. Studies of the Crested Argus, II. Gunung Rabong 1976. World 

Pheasant Association Journal 3 : 46-5 3. 
Delacour, J. 195 1. The Pheasants of the World. Country Life: London. 
Gibson-Hill, C. A. 1949. An annotated checklist of the birds of Malaya. Bull. Raffles M us. 

20: 1-299. 
Hartert, E. 1902. On birds from Pahang, eastern Malay Peninsula. Nov. Zool. 9 : 5 37-580. 
Medway (Lord). 1972. The Gunong Benom expedition 1967: 6. The distribution and 

altitudinal zonation of birds and mammals on Gunong Benom. Bull. Brit. Mus. Nat. 

Hist. (Zool.) 23: 103-154. 
Medway (Lord) & Wells, D. R. 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 5. Witherby: 

Robinson, H. C. 1906. A synopsis of the birds at present known to inhabit the Malay 

Peninsula south of the Isthmus of Kra. Part 2. The Gallinaceous birds. /. Fed. Malay 

St. Mus. 1 : 1 24-1 32. 
Robinson, H. C. & Chasen, F. N. 1936. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. Vol. 3. Witherby: 

Rothschild, W. 1902. Untitled remarks, mBull.Brit.Orn.Cl. 12: 55-56. 
Wells, D. R. 1975. Bird Report: 1972 and 1973. Malay. Nat. J. 28: 186-213. 

Address: Dept. of Wildlife & National Parks, P.O. Box 611, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

A new subspecies of the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 
Acanthagenys rufogularis, with notes on generic relationships 

by Kenneth C. Parkes 

Received 8 August iyjy 
According to Storr (1973: 128), the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Acanthagenys 
rufogularis ranges north in Queensland, Australia, to the mouth of the 
Norman River and the Georgetown district, both at the base of the Cape 
York Peninsula. There appear to be no records of the species from the 
Peninsula itself. 

In a small collection of Queensland birds taken by the Denton brothers 
in 1883, purchased by Carnegie Museum of Natural History from Shelley W. 
Denton in 191 1, is a single specimen of this honeyeater from Friday Island, 
one of a group of small islands in Torres Strait, between Cape York and New 
Guinea. This represents a major range extension for this species, enough to 
make one suspect an error in labelling. However, the bird bears the original 
label in the collector's handwriting, and, even more importantly, the specimen 
is completely outside the range of variation of 101 specimens, from all over 
Australia, examined in the American Museum of Natural History. I believe 
the specimen represents a previously unknown, distinctive, isolated popula- 
tion. Survey of those museums known to hold collections from the islands in 
Torres Strait failed to turn up any additional specimens of Spiny-cheeked 
Honeyeater, but the distinctiveness of the unique Carnegie specimen prompts 
me to provide it with a name. Salomonsen (1967) considered the species 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 144 

monotypic, synonymizing no fewer than 8 names (6 authored by Mathews). 
I have made no attempt to assay the validity of any of these synonymized 
subspecies, as specimens were available at the American Museum of Natural 
History from the entire known range of the species, and the Friday Island 
bird matched none of them. 

For the Friday Island bird I propose the name : 

Acanthagenys rufogularis parked subsp. nov. 

Holotype: Adult male? (query by collector), Carnegie Museum of Natural 
History No. 35755, collected on Friday Island, Torres Strait, northern 
Queensland, Australia, 13 June 1883, by Shelley W. Denton. 

Diagnosis: Differs from any specimen in a series of 101 from throughout 
Australia in having the entire upperparts washed with grey-green. A few 
other specimens approach this colour, especially on the mid-back, but in none 
except the Friday Island bird does it extend onto the crown. The light patch 
formed by the broad edgings of rump feathers and upper tail coverts is more 
extensive than in most other specimens, and differs from all in being washed 
with greenish yellow. The underparts posterior to the cinnamon-rufous 
throat and upper breast are also heavily washed with yellow; the intensity of 
this colour is approached by a few specimens and equalled by one, from the 
opposite end of the species' range (AMNH 696546, adult $, Peron, Shark 
Bay, Western Australia), which would represent A. r.flav acanthus (Campbell) 
if that race were recognizeable. The Shark Bay specimen is the greenest- 
backed mainland specimen examined, but lacks this colour on the crown and 
is less yellow on the rump xh?a\parkeri. 

Measurements of holotype: Wing (flattened), 1 1 5 mm; tail, 114+ mm. (worn) ; 
exposed culmen, 20.2 mm; bill from anterior corner of nostril, 11.7 mm; 
tarsus, 16.5 mm. 

Range: Known only from the holotype from Friday Island, a major north- 
ward range extension for the species. 

Etymology: This distinctive subspecies is named for Shane Parker of the 
South Australian Museum, an untiring student of the systematics and 
nomenclature of Australian birds. 

Remarks: The unique holotype is in rather worn plumage. When freshly 
moulted, it must have been even more strikingly greenish and yellowish in 

Generic relationships: The name Acanthagenys rufogularis, new genus and 
species, was published twice by Gould in 1838. Salomonsen (1967) spelled 
the generic name correctly in his citation to Gould on p. 445, but incorrectly 
as "Acanthogenys" in his generic synonymy on p. 444. Gould himself later 
adopted the spelling "Acanthogenys" but the original spelling must be used 
according to the provisions of Article 32 (a) of the International Code of 
Zoological Nomenclature. Salomonsen synonymized Gould's genus with 
Anthochaera Vigors & Horsfield, 1827. This treatment has been adopted in 
most of the subsequent literature of Australian birds. Schodde (1975), 
however, has advocated restoration of Acanthagenys, stating that "It is just as 
close to New Guinean Melidectes (e.g. M. torquatus) in pattern and colouring 
of plumage, has vocalizations distinct from both and has different cream-buff 
umber-spotted eggs ; it may be an independent derivative of the Melidectes- 
group". Later, in discussing relationships among meliphagid genera, 

145 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980:100(1)] 

Schodde (p. 20) states : "One line proceeds from Melidectes and Pycnopygius to 
Anthochaera, Meliarchus and Philemon, to Acanthagenys and Xanthomy^a, to 
En to my ^on and Manor ina, and ultimately to Meliphaga, Lichenostomus and 
Melithreptes". I find some of this sequence far-fetched, but do not propose to 
discuss it, and quote it only because this is the only place that Schodde 
mentions the non- Australian genus Meliarchus, to which I shall return. 

I agree with Schodde that rufogularis is out of place in the genus Anthochaera. 
Unfortunately Salomonsen never published a rationale for his classification 
of the Meliphagidae in the "Peters" Check-list of Birds of the World (1 967). One 
can find similarities and differences scattered throughout the genera of 
medium-sized to large honeyeaters, and it is difficult to assess the relative 
importance of these, much less to set up any "primitive" and "derived" 
polarities for most external characters. For example, facial wattles are 
common in the Meliphagidae, and, indeed, the members of the genus 
Anthochaera are collectively known as "wattlebirds". The Spiny-cheeked 
Honeyeater differs from 2 of the 3 species of Anthochaera in lacking a facial 
wattle. However, Anthochaera chrysoptera also lacks a wattle. This is likely to 
be a secondary loss, but who is to say whether the ancestors of the unwattled 
Acanthagenys had wattles ? Other than being about the same size (instead of 
substantially larger, as are the other 2 species), Anthochaera chrysoptera bears 
no special resemblance to Acanthagenys rufogularis. 

Similarly, I see no particular close resemblance (contra Schodde) between 
Melidectes torquatus and Acanthagenys rufogularis other than the fact that 
torquatus, unlike most of its genus, has some cinnamon-rufous in its plumage; 
however, this colour is not on the throat and upper breast as in rufogularis, but 
on the lower breast, bordered anteriorly by a heavy black transverse breast 
band without counterpart in rufogularis. The latter species also lacks the 
extensive black areas of the head and elsewhere found in many Melidectes 
(including torquatus), and those species of Melidectes without extensive black 
bear no special resemblance to rufogularis. No Melidectes has the dark longi- 
tudinal ventral streaks of rufogularis - the ventral markings of torquatus 
(which are quite different from the underparts of other Melidectes) are heavy 
spots tending toward a transverse, not longitudinal, alignment. 

In spite of its present geographic isolation, the San Cristobal Honeyeater 
Meliarchus sclateri, now confined to the island of San Cristobal in the Solo- 
mons, must obviously be derived from some honeyeater of the Australia- 
New Guinea region, and I cannot help but think that it is the closest living 
relative of Acanthagenys rufogularis, even though Salomonsen separated these 
2 by no fewer than 12 genera. The major structural difference between 
Meliarchus and Acanthagenys lies in the much stronger legs and feet of the 
former, but the number of resemblances is striking. Although the bill of 
Meliarchus is also longer, part of the difference is illusory, as the base of the 
mandible is naked, whereas in Acanthagenys the feathering extends forward to 
the nostrils. Mayr (1932) gave as one of the generic characters of Meliarchus 
"base of maxilla bare, BUT A NARROW TRACT OF SHORT BRISTLY 
Mayr's). These bristles are in fact present in both Acanthagenys and Anthoch- 
aera (and probably other genera not compared) ; the difference is simply that 
Meliarchus has all but completely lost the short pennaceous feathers that, in 
the other genera, accompany the bristles (which themselves have tufts at 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 146 

their bases) in the area between the lores and the nostrils. The tuft-based 
bristles are simply more conspicuous in Meliarchus because of their isolation. 

Mayr also characterized Meliarchus as having a "graduated" tail. This is an 
exaggeration, as only the outermost pair of rectrices is significantly shortened 
(86% of central rectrices). The relatively ///^graduated tail is, in fact, one of 
the characters in which Meliarchus and Acanthagenys differ collectively from 
Anthochaera. In Meliarchus the second outermost pair of rectrices is 96% as 
long as the central pair; in Acanthagenys this ratio is 97%, but in the strongly 
graduated tail of Anthochaera carunculata it is only 78% (the other 2 species of 
Anthochaera were not measured but have obviously strongly graduated tails). 
The tail of Meliarchus differs from that of Acanthagenys in colour rather than 
in shape, being reddish brown rather than blackish, and lacking terminal 
white spots. 

To return to the bills, those of both Acanthagenys and Meliarchus are laterally 
compressed for most of their length, flaring out along the lower margins of 
the nostrils. The bill of Anthochaera is much rounder in cross-section, and 
does not flare into a shelf along the lower rim of the nostrils. The bills of 
Anthochaera are black {carunculata, paradoxa) or dark brown (chrysoptera). 
That of Acanthagenys rufogularis is bicoloured, being "fleshy-pink at base 
with black tip" (above bill colours taken from Officer 1971). The bill of 
Meliarchus sclateri is described by Mayr as having the "base of upper mandible 
pale green, tip pale olive, under mandible straw yellow". The iris of Antho- 
chaera paradoxa is described by Officer as brown, and those of A. chrysoptera 
and A. carunculata as bright chestnut. That of Acanthagenys is described as 
blue, while Mayr states that the iris of Meliarchus is "dirty white", surely 
closer to blue than to brown or chestnut. 

It is in the general pattern of the plumage other than the tail, however, 
that resemblances between Acanthagenys and Meliarchus are particularly 
striking. In both species the dorsal feathers have dark greyish-brown centres 
and paler edges (variable in colour in Acanthagenys and rather dark greyish- 
green in Meliarchus, resulting in less obvious contrast in the latter). Both have 
unmarked throats bordered by black moustache stripes (the throat itself 
yellowish-white in Meliarchus, cinnamon-rufous in Acanthagenys). Both have 
yellowish- white underparts posterior to the throat and upper breast, streaked 
longitudinally with fuscous. The streaks of these two species are comprised 
of feathers having dark centres and pale edges, whereas the ventral feathers 
of Anthochaera sp. are the reverse - whitish feathers with brown edges. 
Meliarchus has whitish streaks on the lower cheeks, impinging on the black 
moustache stripe, precisely where Acanthagenys adults have the white or 
yellowish spiny feathers that give the genus its name. 

Without knowing more about both species in life, I do not propose to 
merge Meliarchus Salvadori, 1880, in Acanthagenys Gould, 1838. The major 
morphological difference between the 2 that is visible in museum skins is the 
much stronger legs and feet of Meliarchus. I would not maintain a genus 
based solely on the difference in feathering at the base of the bill, but this can 
be used as a supplementary character. In any case, however, I have little 
doubt that these 2 species are each other's closest living relative, and should 
certainly be placed together in any sequence of Meliphagidae. 

Acknowledgments: I am indebted to Shane Parker for his help in determining the 
significance of the Queensland specimens in the Denton collection, and for having called 

147 [Buli.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(2)] 

my attention to some pertinent references; and to Ian Galbraith of the British Museum 
(Natural History), A. R. McEvey of the National Museum of Victoria, Raymond A. 
Paynter, Jr. of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, George E. Watson of the U.S. 
National Museum of Natural History, Laurence C. Binford of the California Academy of 
Sciences, and Mary LeCroy of the American Museum of Natural History, for assistance in 
locating Denton and/or Torres Straits specimens and checking for the presence of Acan- 
thagenys. Facilities of the American Museum of Natural History were used through the 
courtesy of Wesley E. Lanyon. 

References : 

Gould, J. 1838 (April). A Synopsis of the Birds of Australia and the Adjacent Islands. Part 4. 

Published by the author : London. 
Gould J. 1838 (December). (Characters of a large number of new species of Australian 

birds) Proc. Zool. Soc. for 1837: 13 8-1 5 7. 
Mayr, E. 1932. Notes on Meliphagidae from Polynesia and the Solomon Islands. Amer. 

Mus. Novit. no. 516. 
Officer, H. R. 1971. Australian Honey eater s . Third printing, amended. Bird Observer's Club: 

Salomonsen, F. 1967. Family Meliphagidae, in Check-list of Birds of the World, Vol. 12, ed. 

by R. A. Paynter, Jr. Mus. Comp. Zool : Cambridge, Mass. 
Schodde, R. 1975. Interim List of Australian Songbirds. Passerines. Roy. Austr. Ornith. 

Union: Melbourne. 
Storr, G. M. 197 3. List oj 'Queensland Birds. Spec. Pubis. West. Aust. Mus. No. 5 : Perth. 

Address: Kenneth C. Parkes, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsyl- 
vania 1 5 21 3, U.S.A. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

The type locality and taxonomy of Anisognathus 
flavinucha somptuosus 

by Thomas S. Schuknberg and Manuel A. Plenge 

Received 6 July 1979 
The populations of the Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus 
flavinucha occurring from southeastern Ecuador south to central Peru repre- 
sent the subspecies somptuosus, described by Lesson (183 1). Chapman (1925) 
commented on minor differences between specimens from northern and 
central Peru, but considered his entire series to be referable to somptuosus. 
Later Chapman (1926) wrote that the northern population 'possibly ... is 
separable'. Hellmayr (1936) could not detect the differences noted by Chap- 
man. Both Zimmer (1944) and Parkes (in Storer 1970) felt that the northern 
birds were separable. However, the naming of a new form had to be delayed 
until it was known to which group the type of somptuosus belonged. 

Lesson (18 31) did not indicate a type locality when he described Tachy- 
phonus somptuosus (= Anisognathus flavinucha somptuosus), but Hellmayr 
(191 3, 1936) reported that it had been collected in Peru by Ajassou, about 
whom Zimmer (1944) was evidently unfamiliar when he discussed the taxo- 
nomy of somptuosus. Later, however, Zimmer (1953) in synonymising Pica 
luteola Lesson 183 1 with Cyanocorax yncas yncas (Boddaert) restricted its type 
locality to Cajamarquilla, Department of Pasco, Peru, the designation of the 
type locality being based on information which Berlioz supplied to Zimmer. 
Berlioz, at Zimmer's request, had examined a specimen in the Paris Museum 
which was said by Pucheran (1 8 5 3) to be the type of Pica luteola, and according 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)) 148 

to Zimmer (1944) Berlioz found that the specimen Pucheran had referred to 
was presented to the Museum by Ajassou and bore the locality 'Caxamar- 
quilla* (=Cajamarquilla). 

Gerardo Lamas M. (pers. comm.) and Father Jaroslav Soukup (pers. 
comm.) kindly checked their files on collectors in Peru of butterflies and 
plants, respectively, but Ajassou is not cited; therefore, except for the locality 
mentioned above, nothing is known about him. It could well be that he was 
not a collector at all, but a traveller who had the opportunity to obtain some 
specimens. Vaurie (1972) places Cajamarquilla, with 'Ajasson' as collector, 
in the Department of Junin, probably the result of an oversight, since Zim- 
mer (1953) had earlier located Cajamarquilla in the Department of Pasco. 
We can assume that Ajassou travelled in central Peru and collected at 
Cajamarquilla, Province and Department of Pasco, Peru, which becomes the 
type locality of somptuosus. 

With the type locality of somptuosus thus designated, the northern popula- 
tion would now be available for description. We have come to the conclusion, 
however, that there is no justification for the subdivision of somptuosus. The 
supposed distinctive features of the northern form, compared to the popula- 
tion in central Peru, are (1) a slightly larger crown patch; (2) a deeper tone to 
the yellow underparts (Chapman 1925, 1926, Zimmer 1944); and (3) brighter, 
less greenish-blue margins to the retrices and, to a lesser extent, remiges 
(Zimmer 1944). The difference in the colour of the rectrices and remiges 
exhibits only a weak pattern of geographic variation. Although the extremes 
in blue margination are found in some specimens from northern Peru 
(Cajamarca; Amazonas) and the specimens with the greenest margination 
are from the south (Junin; Ayacucho), a series from any single locality in the 
range of somptuosus shows considerable variation. In fact, in several cases in 
which a locality is represented by only a single specimen, the specimen 
exhibits the 'wrong* colour to the marginations, even if the specimen comes 
from a locality which is far removed from any area of potential intergradation 
between north and central Peruvian populations. The difference in the colour 
of the rectrix and remige margination appears at best to represent a weak 
trend with so many exceptions that this character cannot be used to differenti- 
ate populations. 

The relative size of the crown patch is an equally unreliable differential 
character. Although the crown patch is slightly larger in specimens from 
northern localities, the difference is slight and there are exceptions. Also, we 
have been unable to recognise the supposed deeper colour of the underparts 
of the northern birds. No size differences are apparent between any popula- 

Aside from the slight differences in these characters and the weak clinal 
variation they exhibit, there are still other reasons for questioning the validity 
of a proposed northern subspecies. The populations of noithern Venezuela, 
A.f. vene^uelanus (Hellmayr 191 3) are very similar to somptuosus, veneyuelanus 
being best separated by the greener, less brownish olive rump, though 
individual specimens of the two subspecies can in fact be matched. We feel 
that little can be gained by adding yet another marginally-definable taxon to 
what is already a complicated situation. 

In addition to examining the entire series at the American Museum of 
Natural History that Zimmer worked with (see Zimmer 1944 for a list of 

149 \Bull.B. O.C.i 9 So :\oo{z)\ 

localities), we compared Peruvian specimens at the Louisiana State University 
Museum of Zoology from the following Departments : Cajamarca (2 males), 
Amazonas (2 males), San Martin (1 female), Huanuco (4 males, 4 females), 
Huanuco-Loreto (1 male, 1 female) and Ayacucho (2 males, 2 sex undeter- 
mined). The four Ayacucho specimens are from Huanhuachayo (12 44'S, 
73 47 'W) and represent the southernmost published record for the sub- 

Acknowledgements: Mary Le Croy at the American Museum of Natural History checked 
Zimmer's hand- written notes for us. John P. O'Neill, J. V. Remsen, Jr., Gary R. Graves 
and Morris D. Williams read the manuscript or assisted us in other ways. We gratefully 
acknowledge a grant from the Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund to Schulenberg in 1979. 
We also thank the personnel of the Direccion General Fauna y de Flora of the Peruvian 
Ministerio de Agricultura under whose auspices the Louisiana State University fieldwork 
has been carried out. 

References : 

Chapman, F. M. 1925. Descriptions of new birds from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and 
Argentina. Amer. Mus. Novit. 160: 1-14. 

— 1926. The distribution of bird-life in Ecuador: A contribution to a study of the 
origin of Andean bird-life. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 55: xiii+784. 

Hellmayr, C. E. 191 3. Beschreibung von zwei neven neotropischen Tangaren. Verb. Orn. 
Ges. Bay. 11: 317-319. 

— 1936. Catalogue of birds of the Americas and the adjacent islands . . . Field Mus. 
Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. 13, Part IX: 1-458. 

Lesson, R. P. 1 8 3 1 . Traite d'ornitbologie, ou description des oiseaux reunis dans les principaies 

collection de France. F. G. Levrault: Paris. 
Pucheran, -. 1853. Etudes sur les types peu connus de Musee de Paris, par le Docteur 

Pucheran. Rev. Mag. Zool. (2) 5: 545-550. 
Storer, R. W. 1970. Thraupinae in Check-list of Birds of the World (R. A. Paynter, Jr., Ed.) 

14: xiv+443. Cambridge: Massachusetts. 
Vaurie, C. 1972. An ornithological gazeteer of Peru (based on information compiled by 

J. T. Zimmer). Amer. Mus. Novit. 2491 : 1-36. 
Zimmer, J. T. 1944. Studies of Peruvian birds. No. XL VIII. The genera Iridosornis y 

Delothraupis, Anisognathus, Buthraupis, Compsocoma, Dubusia, and Thraupis. Amer. 

Mus. Novit. 1262: 1-2 1. 

— 1953. Studies of Peruvian birds. No. 65. The jays (Corvidae) and pipits (Motacilli- 
dae). Amer. Nus. Novit. 1609: 1-20. 

Addresses: T. S. Schulenberg, Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University, Baton 
Rouge, Louisiana 70893, U.S.A. 
M. A. Plenge, Casilla 2490, Lima 100, Peru. 
© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Relationship of white facial feathering to age and locality 
in Peruvian Cinnycerthia peruana 

by G. R. Graves 

Received 17 September 1979 
In a recent paper, Gochfeld (1979) draws attention to the intra-population 
variation in facial feathering in the Sepia-brown Wren Cinnycerthia peruana. He 
considered the presence of a buffy white forecrown patch in Peruvian 
populations as "intra-racial variation" and that as yet there was "no evidence 
on whether white feathering might be age related". Examination of Peruvian 
specimens of the Sepia-brown Wren in the Louisiana State University Museum 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 150 

of Zoology (LSUMZ) and personal field observations in Peru suggest that 
white facial markings are both age related and geographically distinctive. 

Further analysis, detailed below, of the LSUMZ data in Gochfeld's 
Table 1 and additional material collected in 1978 reveals that birds in juvenal 
and first basic plumages lack white facial feathering regardless of geographic 
locality. Wrens from northern Peru, south to central Dpto. Amazonas and 
northern Dpto. San Martin, never show white facial feathering regardless of 
age. However, breeding adults of the central Peruvian populations from 
southern Dpto. Amazonas (33 km northeast of Ingenio) on the west slope 
of the eastern Andes south through Dpto. Huanuco to Dpto. Ayacucho, 
exhibit white forecrowns, chin and orbital areas. 


i . San Jose de Lourdes, 2200 m, Dpto. Cajamarca. A series of 9 specimens (7 ad., 2 imm.) 
including a family group has no white facial feathering. 

2. Cordillera Colan, 2400 m, Dpto. Amazonas. Recently collected specimens (10 ad., 1 
imm.) lack the extensive white facial feathering of central Peruvian forms. One speci- 
men (LSUMZ 88567, skull ossified) has a few white feathers in the eye ring, perhaps 
evidence of introgression with southerly "white-headed" forms. 

3. 10 km NE Abra Patricia, 1950 m, Dpto. San Martin. 8 specimens (6 ad., 2 imm.) show 
no sign of white facial feathering. 

4. 33 km NE Ingenio, 2200 m, Dpto. Amazonas. 5 specimens (2 ad., 3 imm.) closely 
resemble the large series from Huanuco. 2 adults with ossified skulls, but pale lower 
mandible have white feathers around the eyes and one female (LSUMZ 82125) has 
incoming white feathers intermixed with brown on forecrown. 

5 . Cordillera Carpish (including Huaylaspampa), Dpto. Huanuco. The large series (28 ad., 
1 2 imm.) provides fairly conclusive evidence of age relatedness of white facial feath- 
ering. 12 immatures distinguished by immature gonads, unossified skulls, pale lower 
mandibles and greyish crowns lacked white feathering. Non-breeding adults (13), often 
with some juvenal characteristics, and usually with unenlarged gonads, lack white facial 
feathering. Breeding adults (15) with dark bills, fully ossified skulls and enlarged 
gonads develop white feathers around the eyes and subsequently on the forecrown, 
chin and orbital region. 

6. Yuraccyacu (12 45' S, 73 48' W), 2600 m, Dpto. Ayacucho. A small series (3 ad., 
2 imm.) resemble the Huanuco population (white facial feathering in adults). 

In Peru, Sepia-brown Wrens are commonly encountered in groups that 
seem to be families composed of a breeding pair, 1-3 subadults apparently 
from the previous brood, and several juveniles (pers. ob.). Subadults may 
serve as nest helpers until they establish their own territories. Perhaps a pro- 
gressive development of white head markings creates several phenotype 
classes that function in social signalling. Additional long term field studies are 
needed to resolve the many questions posed by this interesting species. 

I thank J. V. Remsen for helpful comments. 

References : 

Gochfeld, M. 1979. Nest description and plumage variation of the Sepia-brown Wren 
Cinnycerthia peruana. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 99(2): 45-47. 

Address: Gary R. Graves, Museum of Zoology, Louisia na State University, Baton Rouge 
LA 70893, U.S.A. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

151 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Post-mortem changes in measurements of grebes 

by Jon Fjeldsd 

Received 1 October 1979 
The study of geographical variation in birds is mainly based on skins in 
museums, a domain of specialists. Others measure live birds, notably at 
ringing stations, for example to determine the provenance of migrant birds. 
Mensural differences between populations may be very small, so sources of 
error have to be minimized, and this has led to critical discussion of the way 
in which to take measurements. (Compare the classical standards, Baldwin 
et al. (193 1) and Witherby et al. (1938-41) with recent contributions like 
Kehm (1970) and Svensson (1972).) However, it is rarely that consideration 
is given to whether measurements of live birds are comparable with racially 
diagnostic measurements based on skins. 

It is documented that wing-length varies with the humidity of the feathers 
(Evans 1964) and with changes soon after death (Brochel 1973). Since there 
is connective tissue in joints and around feather follicles, the wing-length 
shrinks after skinning (see e.g. Svensson 1975). Vepsalainen (1968), for 
instance, found a 2% shrinkage in the wings of 1 1 Vanellus vanellus. Yet, very 
few students of geographical variation have made corrections for this 
shrinkage, and post mortem changes in other measurements have received 
very little attention (see Greenwood 1979 for review). 

During a study of geographical variation of Podiceps auritus (Fjeldsa 1973), 
and of character displacement in Andean grebes (Fjeldsa 1980, ms), I found 
that all the usual measurements changed with time. To permit pooling of 
measurements of museum skins with specimens found dead but not worth 
preserving, all dimensions from skins needed correction for shrinkage. The 
results of a detailed study of post mortem changes in the weeks after death 
are presented here. 

Materials and methods 

15 Podiceps auritus arcticus, collected in Norway 1971 and in Iceland 1969, 
were measured fresh and again after 4-9 weeks; 6 Danish oil casualties of 
P. grisegena grisegena were measured dead (several weeks old, frozen most of 
the time) and at 1, 4, 9, and 18 weeks after skinning; grebes collected Oct 
1977 - Jan 1978 in Peru, comprising 7 Rollandia {Centropelma) microptera, 
12 R. rolland chilensis and 16 R. rolland morrisoni, 6 P. occipitalis juninensis from 
Junin and 9 others of a longer-billed population from Puno, and 7 P. tac- 
^anowskii, were measured fresh, again in mid Oct 1978 and at end of Mar 1979. 

All the birds were measured by the author as follows: the wings were 
flattened on a ruler without straightening the primaries or digital joints 
(following Svensson 1972); the tarsus and straightened middle toe with claw 
were measured with sliding calipers (following Baldwin et al. 193 1); the 
outer and inner toes of P. auritus were measured; the exposed culmen 
(chord) was measured with sliding calipers; depth and width of the closed 
bill on a level with the mid-dorsal feather edge were taken with sliding calipers. 

Tables 1 and 2 show the average post mortem changes, expressed as the 
factor by which "dry" measurements must be multiplied in order to obtain 
the "fresh" measurement. Table 1 shows variation in correction factors 
according to time after skinning, Table 2 differences between species. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(2)] 






f ==s -^ y ^ 




r» ov Tt- w 




. -v° 

tJ-O^ CTv\P C\\p O \p 

■5 - ■ ■• 

t3 «1 M ON M t .. .. .. _ . 


i! .*[> •«!> .»>■ •»>■ •-[> ■»* > ' 

-£ ^jj q{j m<j o^ vqy qU 

^g m t^- 00 h- f» On 

«■> O OS O 00 



"3 vc> 


M> U> 

£ 8 § If 

.3 B 


1 +• 

a q -t 

11 § s 

2 •-> 

3 -f5 

~.j> "> "> 
tu °><-> fru 

M „ 

u p ^ 

H g g£ so^o 

•S y g § qS> 

e I - e - £ 

« e S ~ 

^■W „ M ^O 

3^ ^ £ u 


00 ^O M" 
00 s H. 1 

-a - 

«^\p r^^p r^^p 

tfiO^ ^<f~ w\o^ 
OO O tJ- O "> 

.„> ..;> ..> 

^n D- o 


B a. H 
C <u u 

es 8 

O U o 

a E-S 

») d > 

S §'3) 

U to 

.rt I) — ' 
^-^ <n 




1 5 3 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Kate of post mortem shrinkage 

Six grisegena which were kept very dry changed quickly but only slightly. 
However, the figures may be misleading since the birds were not fresh when 
first measured (see above). All the other birds used were made into skins 
within a few hours after death, but since they were dried in the field, some in 
a tent during periods of much rain, the results may not apply to skins made 
in taxidermists' workshops with good conditions for drying. The birds from 
Peru were exposed to very moist conditions during shipment to Copenhagen, 
arrived quite soft, but were efficiently dried prior to the October measure- 

Specimens measured after 1-18 weeks give generally lower correction 
factors than the Peruvian birds, possibly because the former were not yet 
dry. On the other hand, no shrinkage could be detected from the 39th to the 
72nd week. Unfortunately it is not possible from the data obtained to tell for 
certain at what interval after skinning the shrinkage stopped. 

Comparison of fresh and dry specimens 


The average correction factor for birds used in Table 2 is 1.029. ^ ls ver Y 
similar in 2 populations of occipitalis and the closely allied tac^anowskii 
(1.035, 1.037, 1.037). Although tac^anowskii is flightless, this is mainly due to 
reduction of the sternum, and the anatomy of the wing is scarcely different 
from that of occipitalis (cf. Sanders 1967). Shrinkage was similar in 2 races of 
rolland '(1.018, 1.019), but the correction factor was higher (1. 041) in their near 
relative micropteram, which is flightless and with reduced wings (Sanders 
1967). The differences may be due to the differences in anatomy, although 
present knowledge of the anatomy offers no obvious explanations. 


The shrinkage is variable and mostly insignificant. 29% of the birds gave 
a slight post mortem increase, which suggests that it is difficult to take the 
measurement precisely. 

Middle toe 

The average correction factor is 1.030, with some variations between 
species. Some extreme values (0.996-1.075) may be due to inaccuracies 
arising if the toes of skinned birds are much bent. The few auritus measure- 
ments suggest that the shrinkage of the 4-jointed outer toe is still larger, 
while that of the 2-jointed inner toe is smaller. 


The average correction factor for the culmen is 1.038. The factor is small 
in specimens with a bill of less than 20 mm (e.g. all occipitalis from Junin). 
This suggests that particularly short-billed grebes have a thin rhamphotheka, 
so that the bill is filled with bone in almost its entire length. 

Depth and width of bill, at base, are subject to great changes. The average 
correction factors are 1.093 (max. 1.322) and 1.145 (max. 1.488), respectively. 
Three specimens showed post mortem increases in one or the other dimension. 
The main depth factor appears correlated with the average bill length for the 
population. A close examination showed that correction factors for well made 
skins were in fact i.oo-i.ii and 1.00-1.14, respectively. The mean values 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 154 

are much influenced by some poor specimens in which either the bone at the 
bill base or the palate had been damaged by shot or in which the palate bones 
had been cut away in order to get rapidly through with the skinning. In such 
cases the basal parts of the bill may completely change shape as the drying 
connective tissue between the nasal rami pull them together, the bill then 
also easily becoming deformed by external forces. 

Conclusions and recommendations 

The investigation suggests greater post mortem changes than previously 
expected; wings as well as toes decrease by about 3%. The tarsus measure- 
ment, which does not span joints, changes very little. The marked change in 
bill dimensions, with a fully 4% decrease in length (except in very fine- 
billed examples), and considerable reduction in thickness of some (damaged) 
bills, may not be applicable to other birds, the amount of change probably 
depending on the bill anatomy. In the case of a tough bill like that of a finch, 
changes may be slight. Grebes are holorhinous and schizognathous, like 
gallinaceous and many gruiform birds, with the basal half of the bill consist- 
ing of slender, pliable bony bars. A schizorhinal (deeply split nasal bone), 
pliable bill, as in waders, probably allows even greater post mortem changes. 
Here even hypertrophy and softening of the distal part of the rhamphotheka 
may permit considerable post mortem shortening of the bill. Certainly 
separate correction factors should be calculated for different anatomical bill 

Acknowledgements: Collection of grebes in Peru was made on a grant J. nr. 51 1-8 136 
from the Danish Natural Science Research Council. 

References : 

Baldwin, S. P., Oberholster, H. C. & Warley, L. G. 193 1. Measurements of Birds. Sci. Publ. 

Cleveland Mus. Nat. Hist. : Cleveland. 
Brochel, K. von 1973. Vergleichende Messungen an lebenden und frischtoten Garten- 

grasmuchen {Sylvia borin).J. Orn. 114: 11 8-1 22. 
Evans, P. R. 1964. Wader measurements and wader migration. Bird Study 1 1 : 23-38. 
Fjeldsa, J. 1973. Distribution and geographical variation of the Horned Grebe Podiceps 

auritus (Linnaeus, 1758). Orn. Scand. 4: 55-86. 

— 1980 The endemic grebe Podiceps tac^anowskii of Junin, Peru. ( Wildfowl. In press). 

— Ms. Comparative ecology of Peruvian grebes. A study in mechanisms for evolution 
of ecological isolation. Ms. c. 160 pp. 

Greenwood, J. G. 1979. Post-mortem shrinkage of Dunlin Calidris alpina skins. Bull. Brit. 

Orn. CI. 99: 143-145. 
Kehm, H. von 1970. Beitrag zur Methodik des Flugelmessens. /. Orn. 11 1: 482-494. 
Sanders, S. W. H. 1967. The osteology and myology of the pectoral appendage of grebes. 

Thesis. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 
Svensson, L. 1972. Welches Fliigelmass ist richtig?/. Orn. 113: 111-112. 

— 1975- Identification Guide to European Passerines. 2nd ed. Naturhistoriska Riks- 
museet, Stockholm. 

Vepsalainen, K. 1968. Winglength of Lapwing ( Vanellus vanellus) before and after skinning, 

with remarks on measuring methods. Orn. Fenn. 45: 124-126. 
Witherby, H. F., Jourdain, F. C. R., Ticehurst, N. F. & Tucker, B. W. 1938-41. TheHand- 

book of British Birds. Witherby: London. 

Address: J. Fjeldsa, Zoological Museum, Universitctsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen O 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

155 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

Weights of some West Indian birds 

by David W. Steadman^ Storrs L. Olson, John C. Barber ; 
Charles A. Meister <& Margaret E. Melville 

Received 3 October 1979 
In 1978 and 1979 we made 3 trips to the West Indies to collect specimens of 
birds for use in systematic and palaeontological studies. Each specimen was 
weighed in the field while fresh. In some instances the birds were weighed 
alive and then released. Thus we were not able to determine the sex in some 
specimens of sexually non-dimorphic species. All specimens are deposited in 
the collection of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian 

Barber and Steadman visited Jamaica from 2-21 April 1978, collecting at 
Quickstep, Trelawney Parish, and Hardwar Gap, Portland Parish. Barber 
and Melville visited the Dominican Republic from 2-14 August 1978, 
collecting at Boca de Yuma, Higiiey, and Cabo Engafio in La Altagracia 
Province, and at Gonao, La Vega Province. Weights in Jamaica were taken 
with a triple beam balance. Weights in the Dominican Republic were taken 
with 30, 50, and 100 g Pesola spring scales. Olson and Meister collected on 
northwestern Andros from 4-9 August 1978, and on Grand Bahama on 17 
and 18 August 1978. Weights were taken with 30 g and 100 g Pesola spring 

We have found no other published weights of birds from the Bahamas or 
the Dominican Republic. Weights of Jamaican birds are given in Blake 1956 
(32 species), Cruz 1974 (15 species), Kepler 1977 (1 species), and Lack 1976 
(1 species). These publications collectively provide weights for 10 species of 
resident Jamaican birds that are not listed in Table 1 . Our weights for any one 
species from a given island are very similar to those of the above authors 
except as follows: Blake (1956) - Columbina passerina jamaicensis, 37.3 - 40.6 g, 
N =4 ; Crotophaga ani, 1 07. 5 g, N = 1 . 

Some interesting inter-island comparisons can be made by combining our 
data (Table 1) with other available weights of West Indian birds. Larger 
sample sizes would surely be desirable in each instance, but nonetheless some 
obvious differences in size can be seen in Table 2. For example, it appears 
that little variation in size exists between the recognized subspecies of 
Columbia passerina or Coereba flaveola, in sharp contrast to the striking differ- 
ences between certain forms of other taxa. Especially noteworthy in Table 2 
is the Spindalis of Jamaica weighing twice as much as the 2 forms from the 
Bahamas. Although Spindalis is traditionally regarded as a monotypic genus, 
Bond (1956) suggested that Spindalis should perhaps be divided into 3 
species (S. %ena, S. dominicensis, and S. nigricephala), based mainly on the 
coloration of the plumage of females. Our data on weights supports this 

Table 1. Weights of birds from the Bahamas (B), Dominican Republic (D), and Jamaica 
(J). The weight of each individual to the nearest 0.1 gm. is listed for samples of 7 or fewer 
birds. The mean, standard deviation, range, and sample size are given in larger samples. 

D Accipter s. striatus 3 (imm.) 82.0, 87.0 ; ? 105 .0, 1 14.0 

J Falco sparverius subsp. ^87.7 

D Zenaida a. asiatica $ 1 3 2.0, 142.0 

B Columbina passerina bahamensis <S 28.0 (juv.), 32.4, 34.8; 9 29.8, 35.3, 36.2, 36.4 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 156 

J Columbina passerinajamaicensis £30.1, 35. 6; ? 33.6 
D Geotrygonm. montana & 126.0; ? 126.0 
B Coccy^us minor maynardi $ 56.2,65.5 
D Coccy^us minor nesiotes £51.5 
D Saurothera vetula longirostris $ 1 1 2 . 5 
J Crotophaga ani $88.7,93.5 
D Crotophaga ani £ 112. o, 116.0 
D Tachornis p. phoenicobia £9.0, 9.5 ; $9.5 

B Chlorostilbon ricordii bracei <J 2.5, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.0, 3.1; ? 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 
J Anthracothorax mango £8.9 

J Trochilusp.polytmus $ 4.5,4.8,5.0, 5.2, 5.3; $4.7, ±0.3 (4.1-5. i,N= 11) 
B Calliphlox e. evelynae $ 2.2, 2.6 
D Todus angustirostris <? 8 . 0,9.0; ? 8 . o 
D Todus subulatus ? 8.0 

J Todus todus $ 6.5, ±0.5 (5.5-7.2, N= 12); ? 6.4,6.4, 6.5, 6.5; sex ? 5.6, 6.9 
J Melanerpes radiolatus $ 93.7, 106.7; ? 974 
D Chryserpes striatus £57.5,83.0 
B Dendrocopos villosus piger £ 49. 3, 5 3 .7 ; 9 5 2.9, 5 7.4 
B Dendrocopos villosus maynardi £ 54.0, 54.0 ; $ 46.0, 46. 5 
D Tyr annus d. dominicensis £41.5 

B Tyrannus caudifasciatusbahamensis $ 41.3, 42.5, 43.0, 45.7, 49.5 ; ? 44.8 
B Myiarchus sagrae lucaysiensis £22.0; $22.1,22. 3 
D Myiarchus stolidus dominicensis $21.0 

J Myiarchus barbirostris $ 12. 1, 13.9, 14.0; $ 11.7, 13.0; sex ? 14.6 
J Myiarchus validus £ 38.6, 39.2; $ 41.2, 43.2 
D C on t opus caribaeus hispaniolensis $ 1 1 . 5 
J Con t opus caribaeus pallidus £9.3 

B C on t opus caribaeus bah amen sis $ 10.8, 12.2; ? 10.3, 11.0 
J Myiopagis cotta $ 1 1 . 5 , 1 1 . 6 

B Callichelidon cyaneoviridis $ 16.3, 16.9, 17.4, 19.5 ; $ 17.3, 18.5 ; sex ? 16.6, 17.6 
D Hirundof.fulvaS 19.5 

J Hirundof.fulvaS 14.7, 15.0, 15.2, 15.2, 15.2, 16.4; ? 14.4, 15. 1, 15.2; sex ? 15.0 
B Hirundo rustica erythrogaster £16.6 
B Sittapusilla insularis $ 10.0, 10.1 ; $ 9.8, 9.9 
D Mimus polyglot tos orpheus £45.0 

B Mimus g. gundlachii $ 61.0, 64.5, 68.0, 72.0, 77.0; ? 57.0, 59.5, 62.0, 62.0, 85.0 
J T urdus j amaicensis $ 59.0, 60.9; $ 54.0 
J Turdus aurantius $ 78.8, 79.0; $ 87.6 
B Mimocichla p. plumbea $ 66.4, 66.5, 68.0, 70.0; $ 74.0 
D Mimocichla plumbea ardosiacea 3 67.0, 70.0, 70.0 
J Myadestes genibarbis solitarius $ 25.0, 25.5, 27.9, 30.3, 33.2 
D Myadestes genibarbis montanus $ (juv.) 25.5 
D Dulus dominicus <? 50.5, 51.0 

B Vireoc. crassirostris $ 13.5, 13.5, 13.6, 14.0, 14.5, 15.0; ? 12.8, 14.3; sex ? 13.5 
J Vireo modestus $ 9.2, 9.3, 9.3; $ 9.2, 9.5, 9.6, 10. 1, 10.4 
J Vireo osburni $ 19.7,21.5 

B Vireo altiloquus barbatulus $18.0; sex ? 1 7. o, 1 7 . 5 
J Mniotilta varia $9.6 
B Protonotaria citrea <J 1 3 . 5 
J Limnothlypis swainsonii ' ? 7 '.9 
J Dendroica caerulescens ? 8.6, 9.6 

B Dendroica dominica flavescens $ 9.0, 9.3, 9.8 ; ? 8.8, 9.0, 9.4 
B Dendroica pityophila $ 7.2, 7.7, 8.1 ; ? 7.6, 8.4; sex ? 7.8, 8.2 
B Dendroica pinus achrustera £10.5,11.0, 11.5,12.0, 12. 7 ; $ 1 1 .0, 11. 3 
J Dendroica pharetra $ 9.9, 9.9, 10.4, 10.5 ; ? 9.1, 9.6 
J Geothlypis trichas $ 1 o . 1 , 10.5 

B Geothlypis rostrata tanneri $ 15.1, 15.6, 16. 1, 16.2, 16.3, 16.8, 17.3; $ 15.8, 16. 1 
J Coerebaf.flaveola £8.7, ±0.3 (8.3-9.3, N = 8); ? 7.6, 7.7, 8.2, 8.7, 8.9 
D Coereba flaveola bananivora $ 9.0, 9.0 

B Coereba flaveola bahamensis $ 9.0, 10.0, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5 ; $ 8.6 
J Euneornis campestris <? 16.4, ±1.2(14.6-19.2^ = 23); ? 16.2 ± 1.3 (13. 2-18. 5, N=2o); 
sex ? 15.5, 17.0 


[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

B Spindalis %. %ena $ 19.5, 20.0, 21.0, 22.0, 22.5, 
24.5; sex ? 17.4 

Spindalis %ena townsendi $ 20.9, 21. 1, 22.8 
Spindalis portoricensis dominicensis sex ? 25.0 

22.5, 23.3; ? 17.0, 20.5, 21.5, 22.0, 22.0, 






Spindalis nigricephala $ 42.1, 42.3, 42.5 ; ? 47.2 

Phaenicophilus p. palmarum <S 32.0, 32.0; ? 24.0, 26.0, 27.0, 32.0 

Icterus I. leucopteryx $ 41.7 

A.gelaius phoeniceus bryanti $ 48.0, 54.0, 57.0; ? 36.0, 37.0, 37.0, 39.0 

Tiariso. olivacea ? 9.5, 10.0, 10.5 

Tiariso. olivacea ? 8.8 

Tiarisb. bicolor 0*9.5, 10.0, 10.5 ; ? 9.0, 9.2, 9.6 

Tiaris bicolor marchii $ 10.8, 10.9, 11.6; ? 12.0 

Loxipasser anoxanthus $ 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 11.4, 11. 5, 11. 9, 12.5; $ 10.5, 11. 2, 11.4, 12.0, 

12. 1 
B Loxigilla v. violacea 6* 20.8, 22.5; ? 18.0, 18.5, 19.3, 19.5,20.5 
D Loxigilla violacea affinis $ 23.5, 24.0, 25.0, 28.5, 28.5, 28.5 ; ? 19.5, 23.5, 23.5 (juv.) 
J Loxigilla violacea ruficollis 6 26.9, 28.6, 29.5, 30.1, 34.5, 37.1 ; ? 25.4, 34.5 

Table 2. Inter-island variation in weight of selected taxa of West Indian birds. Males and 
females have been combined in species which show no apparent sexual dimorphism in size. 
Data from Puerto Rico is modified from that of Olson & Angle (1977). 

Bahamas Dominican Republic Jamaica Puerto Rico 

Av. Range N Av. Range N Av. Range N Av. Range N 


C.p. babamensis 
33.3 28.0-36.4 7 

C. p. jamaicensis C. p. portoricensis 

33.1 30.1-35.6 3 35.4 30.1-39.9 9 
"39.5 ? 7**35-4 33-8-39-2 6 

Todus sp. 

T. angustirostris 
8.3 8.0-9.0 3 
T. subulatus 

T. todus 
6.5 5-5-7-2 

T. mexicanus 
5.8 5.2-6.7 15 
5.0-6.9 7 



[9.5 — 




C.f. babamensis 
3 10. o 9.0—10.5 
? 8.6 — 


C.f. bananivora 
5 9.0 9.0 

C.f .flaveola 
8.7 8.3-9.3 
8.2 7.6-8.9 

'*8 ? 

C.f. portoricensis 

8 9.3 9.0— 9.8 4 

5 9.0 8.2- 9.35 3 

7 **9.6 7.4—12.0 40 

S. p. portoricensis 
31.4 29.2-33.2 4 

Spindalis sp. 

S. £. %ena 
21. 1 17-0-24.5 
S. %. townsendi 

21.6 20. Q— 22.8 

S. p. dominicensis 
14 25.0 — 

S. nigricephala 
[ 43.5 42.1-47.2 
***43 ? 

Loxigilla sp. .L. f . violacea L. v. affinis L. v. ruficollis 

(J 21.6 20.8—22.5 2 2 6-3 23.5—28.5 6 31. 1 26.9—37.1 

9 19.2 18.0-20.5 5 22.2 19.5-23.5 3 30.0 25.4-34.5 

<J<J + ?? ***3Q ? 

L. p. portoricensis 

6 34.8 31.1-39.1 12 

2 29.2 23.4-36.7 8 

7**32.926.0-39.0 45 

•From Blake (1956) 


***From Cruz (1974) 

Acknowledgments: We thank the people listed below for their assistance in our field work : 
Jamaica — Ronald I. Crombie, Patrick Fairbairn, and Richard Frantz; Dominican Repub- 
lic — Ronald I. Crombie, Annabelle de Dod, Jeremy F. Jacobs, Margaret E. Melville, and 
Jose Alberto Ottenwalder; Bahamas — Rose Blanchard and the staff of the Forfar Field 
Station, International Field Studies, Colin Higgs, and Helen F. James. Much of our travel 
was made possible by Fluid Research Grants from the Smithsonian Institution through S. 
Dillon Ripley. 

References : 

Blake, C. H. 1956. Some bird weights from Jamaica. Bird-banding 27: 174-178. 

Bond, J. 1956. Check-list of the Birds of the West Indies. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. 

Cruz, A. 1974. Feeding assemblages of Jamaican birds. Condor 76: 103-107. 

Kepler, A. K. 1977. Comparative study of todies (Todidae): with emphasis on the Puerto 

Rican Tody, Todus mexicanus. Publ. Nuttall Ornith. Club No. 16. 
Lack, D. 1976. Island Biology as Illustrated by the Land Birds ofjamacia. Univ. California Press : 


[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 158 

Olson, S. L. & Angle, J. P. 1977. Weights of some Puerto Rican birds. Bull. Brit. Orn. 

CI. 97: 105-107. 
Oniki, Y. 1975. Temperatures of some Puerto Rican birds with note of low temperatures 

in todies. Condor jj: 344. 

Address: Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, D.C. 20560 U.S.A. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Haematozoa of British birds: post-mortem and 
clinical findings 

M. A. Peine 

Received 3 October 19/9 
Most observations in recent years on the haematozoa of British birds have 
concentrated on birds caught for ringing purposes in cooperation with the 
British Trust for Ornithology (Peirce & Mead 1976, 1977, 1978a, b). In 
addition to these, from 1965 to 1978 a total of 426 birds was examined as 
post-mortem or clinical cases for the presence of haematozoa. Those results 
are reported here. 

Materials and Methods 

The clinical cases were mostly birds of prey examined since 1976, sub- 
sequent to a previous report on haematozoa found in birds of this category 
(Peirce & Cooper 1977). All other birds were post-mortem specimens except 
for Canada Geese Branta canadensis, Starlings Sturnus vulgaris and Pied Wag- 
tails Motacilla alba from which blood samples were obtained during the 
course of work carried out by the Pest Infestation Control Laboratory. 

Thin blood smears were made from either peripheral or cardiac blood 
(post-mortem cases only), air-dred, fixed in methanol and stained with 
Giemsa's solution at a strength of 1 :io at pH 7.2 for one hour. Microscopical 
examination was carried out under an oil immersion objective. 


All the birds examined are listed in Table 1. Of the 426 birds representing 
66 species and 52 genera from 26 families examined, 5 1 (11.9%) were found 
to harbour one or more parasites of the genera Haemoproteus, Teucocyto^oon , 
Plasmodium, Trypanosoma and Atoxoplasma. 

With the exception of 2 Long-eared Owls Asio otus where the parasitaemia 
was too low to determine whether the parasite was a species of Haemoproteus 
or Plasmodium, the remaining parasites were identified to the generic level 
and most to species. Leucocytozoids in the Accipitridae and Falconidae were 
all referable to Leucocyto^oon toddi; those in the Strigidae to L. ^iemanni. 
L. marchouxi was found in Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus and L. dubreuili in 
Blackbird Turdus merula. Haemoproteus fallisi was observed in Blackbird and 
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, H. palumbis in Wood Pigeon, H. tinnunculi in 
Merlin Falco columbarius and H. figueiredoi in Goshawk Accipitergentilis. Three 
Tawny Owls Strix aluco were infected with H. syrnii. A parasite resembling 
Plasmodium subpraecox was seen in a Snowy Owl Nyctea scandiaca and 
P. merulae and P . giovannolai were identified from Blackbirds. The trypanosome 
in Tawny Owl was identified as T. avium \ that in Blackbird morphologically 
resembled T. corvi. 


159 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 


While the overall infection rate was not high, many of the birds examined 
were species in which haematozoa have rarely been observed, particularly in 
Europe (Peirce, in prep.). There was no evidence to suggest that any of the 
parasites were directly responsible for the deaths of the post-mortem cases. 
In some clinical cases however, the levels of parasitaemia with Leucocyto^oon 
and Haemoproteus were frequently high and might have been a contributing 
factor to the general condition of the birds affected. 

Table i 
Haematozoa found in British birds at post-mortem or clinical examination 

Number examined/ Parasites found 

Bird species Number positive H L P T A 

Accipiter gentilis Goshawk 8/3 1 3 — — — 

A. nisus Sparrow Hawk 3/1 — 1 — — — 

Falco peregrinusV ttegnno. 7/1 1 — — — — 

F. columbarius Merlin 5/2 1 1 — — — 

Columba palumbus Wood Pigeon 22/1 1 1 — — — 

Nyctea scandiaca Snowy Owl 6/1 — — 1 — — 

Asio otus Long-eared Owl 3/2 ? 2 ? — — 

A.flammeus Short-eared Owl 5/3 — 3 — — — 

Athene noctua Little Owl 3/1 — 1 — — — 

Strix aluco Tawny Owl 1 5/6 3 6 — 1 — 

Motacilla alba Pied Wagtail 32/3 — 1 — 21 

Prunella modular is Dunnock 7/3 1 — — — 2 

Erithacus rubecula Robin 13/3 — — 2 — 1 

T urdus merula Blackbird 25/5 3 2 2 1 — 

T . philomelos Song Thrush 14/4 4 — — — — 

Parus caeruleus Blue Tit 6/1 — 1 — — — 

P. major Great Tit 7/2 1 — 1 — — 

Fringilla coelebs Chaffinch 2/1 1 — — — — 

Carduelis chloris Greenfinch 3/2 — — 1 — 1 

Acanthi's cannabina Linnet 2/1 — — — — 1 

Passer domesticus House sparrow 4/4 — — — — 4 

Pica pica Magpie 1/1 1 — — — — 

Negative species (see list) 2 33/° — — — — — 

TOTAL 426/51 18 22 7 4 10 

H= Haemoproteus; L,=Leucocyto%pon; P= Plasmodium; T '= Trypanosoma ; A = Atoxoplasma 
Species of birds examined in which no haematozoa were found. Figures in parenthesis are 
the number examined. Ardea cinerea Grey Heron (i),Branta canadensis Canada Goose (15), 
Cygnus olor Mute swan (14), C. cygnus Whooper Swan (4), Tadorna ferruginea Ruddy Shelduck 
(4), Anas platyrhynchos Mallard (1), A. crecca Teal (4), Aythya fuligula Tufted Duck (1), Aix 
galericulata Mandarin (1), Somateria mollissima Eider (4), Melanitta nigra Common Scoter (3), 
Histrionicus histrionicus Harlequin (4), Alilvus migrans Black kite (i),Buteo buteo Buzzard (6), 
Haliaeetus albicilla White-tailed Eagle (1), Circus aeruginosus Marsh Harrier (1), Falco tinnunculus 
Kestrel (45), Lagopus lagopus Red Grouse (3), Phasianus colchicus Pheasant (1), Rallus aquaticus 
Water Rail (1), Haematopus ostralegus Oystercatcher (5), Calidris alpina Dunlin (3), Rissa tridac- 
tyla Kittiwake (1), Columba livia Domestic Pigeon (37), Streptopelia decaocto Collared Dove 
(2), Tyto alba Barn Owl (1), Apus apus Swift (1), Picus viridis Green Woodpecker (3), Dendro- 
copos major Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Riparia riparia Sand Martin (9), Delichon urbica 
House Martin (2), Troglodytes troglodytes Wren (1), Sylvia communis Whitethroat (1), Phyl- 
loscopus sibilatrix (1), Luscinia megarhynchos Nightingale (1), Turdus viscivorus Mistle Thrush 
(1), Parus ater Coal Tit (1), Certhia familiaris Tree Creeper (1), Fringilla montifringilla Bramb- 
ling (2), Pyrrhula pyrrhula Bullfinch (3), Passer montanus Tree Sparrow (2), Sturnus vulgaris 
Starling (35), Corvus frugilegus Rook (1), C. corone Carrion Crow (3). 

Acknowledgments: I am most grateful to Messrs. J. E. Cooper and A. G. Greenwood 
for the material from birds of prey and to Dr. C. J. Feare for the material from PICL. 

[BuIl.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 160 

References : 

Peirce, M. A. & Cooper, J. E. 1977. Haematozoa of birds of prey in Great Britain. Vet. 
Rec. 100: 493. 

Peirce, M. A. & Mead, C. J. 1976. Haematozoa of British birds. I. Blood parasites of birds 
from Dumfries and Lincolnshire. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 96: 128-132. 1977. II. Blood para- 
sites of birds from Hertfordshire./. Nat. Hist. 11: 597-600. 1978a. III. Spring inci- 
dence of blood parasites of birds from Hertfordshire especially returning migrants. 
/. Nat. Hist. 12: 337-340. 1978b. IV. Blood parasites of birds from Wales. /. Nat. 
Hist. 12: 361-363. 

Address: M. A. Peirce, 6 Barrie House, Hartland Road, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 iJT. 

Present address: c/o UNDP/FAO, P.O. Box 31966, Lusaka, Zambia. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Seven bird species new to Bolivia 

by Theodore A. Parker, III, J. V, Re ms en, Jr. and J. A. Heindel 

Received 4 October 1979 
Fieldwork in Bolivia in the Departamento La Paz by the authors in 1979 
produced specimens and sight records of 7 species not previously recorded 
from the country. 
Buteo leucorrhous White-rumped Hawk 

On 22 July, Remsen studied an adult of this distinctive species for several 
minutes as it soared low over a clearing at 2575 m at Sacramento Alto, a 
cluster of houses 8 km by road north of the summit known as Chuspipata 
west of Unduavi. The bird appeared very small for a Buteo, smaller and with 
proportionately shorter wings and longer tail than Buteo p/atypterus; the 
plumage was uniform black except for white under tail and upper tail coverts, 
two or three pale bands on underside of tail, striking white underwing 
coverts, and primaries extensively barred white; the tarsi were conspicuously 
rusty-orange. No other South American raptor possesses this combination of 
features. Heindel, with Tom Heindel and Arnold Small, also saw a Buteo 
leucorrhous at Unduavi, c. 3000 m, on 17 August 1979. Additionally, the 
Carnegie Museum of Natural History has a specimen (CM 1 20361) of this 
species collected by F. B. Steinbach at Incachaca, Dpto. Cochabamba, on 
25 June 1927 (K. C. Parkes in litt.) 

This species is probably uniformly distributed in the subtropical zone of 
the Andes from Venezuela to northwestern Argentina despite the paucity of 
records within this range. There are 3 unpublished specimens at Louisiana 
State University Museum of Zoology (LSUMZ) from the eastern slope of 
the Andes in central Peru in Dpto. Huanuco (2 from Bosque Zapatagocha 
above Acomayo and 1 from Quilluacocha) as well as sight records from Dpto. 
Cuzco (Parker & O'Neill 1980). 
Ampelioides tschudii Scaled Fruiteater 

On 1 1 June and 1 July Parker found this species in humid, mossy forest in 
the Serrania Bellavista, 1675 m, 38 km by road north of Caranavi. On 26 
June he saw 2 (possibly 3) 3 km further south at 1650 m, and on 27 June he 
collected 2 birds there: LSUMZ 90758,0% one testis found, 4x2 mm, slate- 
coloured; skull ossified; 95 g, moderate fat; and LSUMZ 90759 (prepared by 
Linda Hale), $, ovary 11x4 mm, ova not enlarged; 78 g; complete skeleton 
saved. Both birds had been feeding on a large red fruit (10 x 10 mm; stomach 
contents of LSUMZ 90759 deposited in LSUMZ Stomach Contents Collec- 
tion). These individuals perched motionless for many minutes at a time in the 

161 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

subcanopy 10-20 m above ground, making occasional short, noisy (wing 
rattle) flights. The female uttered a soft chatter, barely audible, that resembled 
some calls of Icterus spp. (especially spurius) or of Piaya cay ana. The song 
(male only?) consists of a series of rather loud, mellow, downward inflected, 
short whistles at 5-10 sec intervals for several minutes at a time. These are 
reminiscent (to Parker's ear) of calls oiMyiarchus tuberculifer. 

This species has previously been recorded only as far south as Dpto. 
Junin, Peru (Meyer de Schauensee 1966), at least 650 km northeast of our 
locality. This species' distribution is probably continuous in humid Upper 
Tropical and Lower Subtropical Zone forest from Venezuela south to Bolivia. 
Present gaps are almost certainly due to difficulty in detecting these sluggish 
and usually silent birds. 
Idioptilon granadense Black-throated Tody-Tyrant 

Remsen collected one specimen (LSUMZ 90804); sex?; skull 10% ossified; 
7.7 g, light fat; stomach - insect parts, including small green caterpillar) on 
20 July at forest edge at Sacramento Alto (see under Buteo leucorrhous). Single 
individuals were also detected there on 4 other days in the period 21 July to 
8 August. All were seen at forest edge foraging at 1-6 m above ground. 
Parker glimpsed and heard an Idioptilon in this same area on 25 and 27 May 
that was also probably granadense. This species was previously known as far 
south as Dpto. Puno, Peru (Meyer de Schauensee 1966). 
Notiochelidon flavipes Pale-footed Swallow 

On 25 May, Parker, Remsen, Linda Hale and Gaston Bejarano, saw at 
least 1 5 individuals of this species about 2 km by road north of Chuspipata 
(see under Buteo leucorrhous) at about 2800 m. The distinctive call notes and 
manner of flight (Parker & O'Neill 1980) were clearly noted. Groups of a 
similar size were also seen near Chuspipata between 2750 m and 2975 m on 
27 May, 4 July and 5 August. This species is probably distributed contin- 
uously in a very narrow elevational band in humid temperate forest from 
Colombia south to Bolivia, with present gaps merely a function of the 
difficulty in collecting this species and its similarity to N. cyanoleuca (Parker 
& O'Neill 1980). 
Odontorchilus branickii Grey-mantled Wren 

Parker and Remsen saw 1-2 individuals on 7 different days in the period 
9-26 June in the Serrania Bellavista, 1650 m, 35 km by road north of 
Caranavi. All were seen in mixed-species bird flocks that foraged 15 to 30 m 
above ground in the sub-canopy and canopy. These flocks always contained 
a Cranioleuca (almost certainly curtata), Philydor rufus, and Xenops rutilans. This 
arboreal wren, more gnatcatcher-like than wren-like in appearance, has a 
stereotyped and distinctive foraging behaviour: they hop along more or less 
horizontal branches (usually 3-10 cm in diameter), leaning over from side to 
side and peering at the underside of the branch, moving constantly in this 
manner except for brief pauses to probe scattered, small clumps of moss or 
lichens. The infrequently heard song, is a brief, high-pitched, monotonic trill. 

This species has not previously been reported south of Dpto. Cuzco, Peru 
(Meyer de Schauensee 1966), but is probably distributed continuously in 
humid Upper Tropical Zone forest from Colombia south to central Bolivia. 
It is difficult to detect and to collect because it is constantly on the move 
high in the trees and seldom calls. 
Hemispingus xanthophthalmus Drab Hemispingus 

Parker, Remsen, Linda Hale and Gaston Bejarano saw 2-3 individuals of 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 162 

this species in humid Temperate Zone forest 1 km west of Chuspipata at 
about 2900 m on 27 May 1979. On 8 June, 3-4 were seen with each of 3 
separate mixed-species flocks in the same area. These birds walked and 
hopped on top of dense foliage of small-leafed trees, a distinctive foraging 
behaviour characteristic of this species (Parker & O'Neill 1980). The dark 
grey upperparts, pale grey underparts, and distinctive, conspicuous pale 
yellow eye were seen clearly. Associated species were Mecocerculus sticto- 
pterus, Myioborus melanocephalus , Conirostrum sitticolor, A.nisognathus igniventris, 
Buthraupis montana, and Delothraupis castaneiventris. 

This report of Hemispingus xanthophthalmus is the first from outside Peru, 
in which it is recorded only as far south as Dpto. Cuzco (Meyer de Schauen- 
see 1966). 
Dendroica fusca Blackburnian Warbler 

On 17 March 1979, Heindel saw a full-plumaged male at 2250 m in forest 
edge in the Zongo Valley northeast of the city of La Paz. This species has 
been previously recorded only as far south as Dpto. Huanuco (Carpi sh Pass 
area;LSUMZ 75351, 75352). 

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to Ing. Carlos Aguirre, Direccion de Ciencia y Tec- 
nologia, for permission to work in Bolivia and to Dr. Ovidio Suarez Morales and other 
members of the Academia Nacional de Ciencias for their cooperation and aid without which 
our fieldwork would not have been possible. Prof. Gaston Bejarano provided invaluable 
help throughout our studies. Parker and Remsen are grateful to Mrs. Babette Odom, Mr. 
John S. Mcllhenny and Mr. and Mrs. H. Irving Schweppe for their generous financial 
support and to Tom and Jo Heindel for their hospitality in Bolivia. We thank Kenneth 
C. Parkes for permission to publish data from Carnegie Museum and Gary R. Graves for 
helpful comments on the manuscript. 

References : 

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1966. The Species of Birds of South America and their Distribution. 

Narberth, Pennsylvania: Livingston. 
Parker, T. A., Ill & O'Neill, J. P. 1980. Notes on little known birds of the upper Urubam- 

ba Valley, southern Peru. Auk 97 : 167-176. 

Addresses: J. V. Remsen, Jr. and Theodore A. Parker, III, Museum of Zoology, Louisiana 
State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70893, U.S.A.; J. A. Heindel, American Co- 
operative School, c/o American Embassy, La Paz, Bolivia. 

© British Ornithologsits' Club. 

Chapin's Spinetail Swift Telacanthura melanopygia in Ghana 
by G. Lochi'ood, M. P. Lockwood & M. A. Macdonald 

Received 18 October 1979 
The range of Chapin's Spinetail Swift Telacanthura melanopygia, originally 
thought to be confined to the Congo forests, is now known to include the 
Upper Guinea forests as far west as Liberia (Snow 1978). Only 2 specimens 
from Upper Guinea are known, one from Ivory Coast (Snow 1978) and one 
taken by us in Ghana. Here we record the details of the latter specimen and 
summarise what is known of its ecology and behaviour in Ghana. 

At the Cocoa Research Institute, Tafo-Akim, Ghana (6°i3 / N, o°22' W) 
Chapin's Swift was regularly observed drinking from a 20 ha reservoir with 
other swifts (Little Swift Apus affinis, Palm Swift Cypsiurus parvus, Cassin's 
Spinetail Neafrapus cassini and Sabine's Spinetail Chaetura sabini). Attempts to 
trap swifts were unsuccessful until the 1977-78 dry season when it was 
possible to stretch a mist net across the water, and at 1600 h on 5 February 

163 [BulLB.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

1978 one Chapin's Spinetail was caught. The specimen (a female) is now in 
the British Museum (Natural History), Tring. It was dark brown in plumage, 
slightly glossy, with almost pure white centres to the feathers of the chin and 
throat. The bill was black, the eye dark brown and the feet dark pinkish- 
grey. It weighed 5 2 gms. 

The Ghanaian specimen shows no major differences in plumage from the 
only other skin in the British Museum, a male taken in Cameroun, though 
the centres of the throat feathers are darker in the latter (G. Cowles, pers. 
comm.). The measurements of 7 skins of Chapin's Swift are compared in 
Table 1. Bill and tarsus lengths are essentially similar for all skins, and 
although the length and proportions of wing and tail vary considerably, and 
apparently independently of sex, there are no grounds for separating racially 
the Upper and Lower Guinea populations. The Ghana bird is exceptional in 
having an unusually short tail. 

Table i 

Comparison of measurements (mm) of 7 skins of Telacanthura melanopygia 
from Upper and Lower Guinea forests 








1 Bill 
to s 

Upper Guinea 


BMNH, Tring 







Ivory Coast 

MNHN, Paris 






Lower Guinea : 


BMNH, Tring 








MNHN, Paris 








MNHN, Paris 







* Zaire 

New York 






f Cameroun 






*From Chapin (1915). BMNH = British Museum (Natural History). 
fFrom Bannerman (1953). MNHN = Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. 

Field Identification. Chapin's Spinetail is distinguished in the field from all 
other Ghanaian spinetails by its larger size and lack of obvious white 
markings. The mottling on the throat is rarely discernible. The flight is rapid 
and powerful with the characteristic spinetail action. The wings appear 
distinctly paddle-shaped, the inner primaries seeming much longer than the 
adjacent secondaries. The tail is short and square and in head-on view the 
bird might be confused momentarily with Cassin's Spinetail. The size, flight 
and wing-shape allow recognition at considerable distances even when the 
lack of white cannot be ascertained. 

Ecology and Behaviour. Chapin's Spinetail was found only over forest and 
recent forest clearings (Macdonald & Taylor 1977). It tended to feed at lower 
levels than other forest swifts and frequently drank from open water at Tafo 
and Kade. Although almost half our records were of single birds, the species 
often occurred in monospecific groups of up to 10 birds. These frequently 
indulged in noisy chases, the function of which is unknown, during which 
they descended to within a few metres of the ground over tracks or clearings. 
One chase involved 3 birds, 2 weaving close together calling 'crrr tchi' 
while the third broke away occasionally to dive and weave violently on its 
own. On 3 occasions 2 birds were seen struggling noisily calling 'creeou' 
from canopy height to within a few metres of the ground when they separated. 

Three calls were recognized; a repeated 'err tchi', the 'tchi' metallic; a 
repeated 'creeou'; and a flat click run into an unmusical trill. All the calls 

[Bull. B.O. C. 19 80: 1 00(2)] 1 64 

were unattractive, loud and harsh, more like the calls of Ussher's Spinetail 
T. ussheri than like those of Cassin's or Sabine's Spinetails. 

Our only information on breeding comes from the trapped bird, which 
contained fairly large ova. Although birds frequently descended into partial 
clearings with dead and broken trees, none was ever seen showing interest in 
potential nest-holes. A bird in primary moult was seen in October. 

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to G. Cowles of the British Museum (Natural His- 
tory), Tring, who prepared the skin of the Ghanaian specimen and provided us with 
measurements of the Camerounian skin. Also to Dr. D. W. Snow who informed us of 
the location of the Ivory Coast skin and Dr. C. Erard of the Museum National d'Histoire 
Naturelle, Paris who kindly provided the measurements of that and the two Gabonese skins. 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 1953. The Birds of West and Equatorial Africa. Oliver and Boyd: Edin- 
burgh and London. 

Chapin, J. P. 191 5. Descriptions of three new birds from the Belgian Congo. Bull. Amer. 
Mus. Nat. Hist. 34: 509-13. 

Macdonald, M. A. & Taylor, I. R. 1977. Notes on some uncommon forest birds in Ghana. 
Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 97: 1 16-120. 

Snow, D. W. 1978. An Atlas of Speciation in African Non-passerine Birds. British Museum 
(Natural History) : London. 

Addresses: G. & M. P. Lockwood, 25 Trinity Close, Haslingfield, Cambridge. 

M. A. Macdonald, c/o Dept. of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Edin- 
burgh, Scotland. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Data on Lagonosticta rhodopareia hruneli 
by J. Brunei \ C. Chappuis, and C. Erard 

Received 2j July 1979 
Erard & Roche (1977) described under the name Lagnosticta rhodopareia bruneli 
a couple of firefinches collected in the mountains of Lam, near Dagbao (7 
39'N, 1 5 5 3'E), 25 km southeast of Baibokoum, in southern Tchad, on the 
border with the Central African Republic. Further brief visits to this locality 
were made by one of us (J.B.) between January and May 1978. Supplemen- 
tary information on the habitat was obtained, 2 further males were collected, 
and some vocalisations recorded. It is this new material which is now pre- 
sented and analysed. 
Morphological characters 

The 2 new specimens, collected 7 May 1978 (C.G. 1979-634, 635 in the 
Paris Museum), are males in relatively fresh dress. It should be recalled that 
the 2 earlier ones, dated 16 April, were near the end of a complete moult. It 
seems that the male (type) described by Erard & Roche was an immature 
moulting into adult dress. The ochraceous tone on the abdomen would have 
disappeared with the completion of the moult, and been replaced by a more 
crimson coloration, the red of the face extending further onto the chest, 
which is a slightly vinous pink. These details in no way invalidate the racial 
characters previously denned, and which may be briefly repeated. The male 
has the crown and nape uniform neutral grey, clearly demarcated from the 
maroon of the back and wing-coverts ; the face (superciiiaries, lores, cheeks, 
chin, throat) and upper chest very bright red; the rest of the underparts pink 
to a slightly vinous crimson-red. The female has the face (the cheeks are only 
slightly washed with pink) and the underparts paler than in the male, the 
abdomen a little more ochraceous. Sexual dimorphism is thus relatively slight. 

165 [BuIl.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 

Measurements (in mm) are: 

Wing Bill Tail 

3o*o* 50-5-5I (5o-6) 11-5-12 (n-8) 44-44*5 (44* 

9 49 IX 44*5 

The bill is longest, most slender and least globular in bruneli. We will not 
repeat here its distinction from the other races, namely jamesoni (including 
taruensis), ansorgei, rhodopareia and virata. It will suffice to state that from their 
morphological analysis Erard & Roche associated bruneli with virata rather 
than the other forms. They also laid emphasis on the observations on captive 
birds by Goodwin (1964, 1969) and Harrison (1957, 1963), which strongly 
suggest that virata may be specifically distinct horn jamesoni. 


Erard & Roche have stressed the apparent similarity (at least in physio- 
gonomy) in the habitat of bruneli and virata, contrasting somewhat with that 
of the other forms. Below we will merely define more precisely that of 

The mountains of Lam are extensions of the crystalline massifs of Yade, 
culminating in the Central African Republic at 1420 m, and in Adamawa in 
Cameroun at c. 1700 m, their geological origin giving them a broken outline. 
They resemble rocky pedestals, essentially granitic, with some gneissic 
formations, in which numerous narrow valleys alternate with successions of 
level areas of bare rock and detritus, of which the area around Dagbao is 
typical. Torrential streams flow in the rains, but dry up almost completely 
in the dry season, leaving only small pools or holes of water here and there. 

This region is within the Soudano-Guinean zone with 5 dry months 
(November to March) and a rainy season (May to October, average 1 300 mm) 
after a prehumid period in April. Temperatures scarcely exceed 38°C in the 
dry season, but the difference between day and night can be as much as 20 , 
certain absolute minima being c. io°. The relative humidity varies, 20-70% 
in the dry season and 70-100% in the rains. In general the vegetation is a 
shrubby savanna typical of the Soudano-Guinean zone, disturbed by annual 

At Dagbao the level areas are clothed in a shrubby, degraded vegetation 
in which Detarium, Parinari, Greivia, Hymenocardia, Terminalia and Anona 
dominate. By contrast, the slopes of the rocky mountains, unaffected by 
fires, are sheltered by certain large trees; some peculiar to these parts such as 
Pterocarpus luceus (inhabiting arid mountains), Ficus glumosa (characteristic 
of rocky regions within the Soudano-Guinean zone), Lannea schimperi 
(particularly abundant on the high plateaux of Adamawa) and Stereospermum 
(originally from Fouta Djalon, Guinea). Others more widespread are Prosopis, 
Anogeissus, Cassia and Burkea. It is uniquely in these rocky areas that bruneli 
dwells. The other Lagonosticta present, rara y frequents the level, shrubby areas. 

The site under consideration is a plateau of large granitic slabs, bordered 
on the south-southeast by a series of steep, denuded hillocks, from the bases 
of which extends broken, rocky rubble. From this rubble there protrudes 
scattered shrubby vegetation with, here and there, clumps of large trees, 
clinging in the fractures where there is still a little fertile ground. The 
biotope of bruneli is provided by the zone intermediate between the surface of 
the densely shrubby savanna characterised by Hymenocardia, Bauhinia, Anona, 
Detarium, etc., and the steep, denuded slopes inhabited by bird species such 
as Onychognathus morio, and also Caprimulgus tristig/na, Cercomela familiaris 

[Bitll.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 166 

and Cisticola emini. The ground surface alternates with rocky rubble, bushy 
vegetation, denuded laterite slabs, small areas of gramineous plants, the 
whole with scattered clumps of large trees {Prosopis, Anogeissus, Pterocarpus, 
Ficus, Fanned). 

Although not abundant, bruneli is not rare in this habitat; a count revealed 
3 pairs over a distance of 1 km. The social unit is clearly the pair. The 
birds fly from rock to rock, on which they like to perch and call as recorded 
below. Quite wary, on the least alarm they take refuge in leafy bushes or in 
fractures in the rocks, perching only rarely in trees. They feed mainly on 
small seeds of gramineous plants, and readily resort to the large granitic 
slabs where the village women come to pound their millet or dry their cassava. 

Acoustic comparison between rhodopareia and bruneli 

The sound elements used are from the recordings made by J. Brunei near 
Dagbao on 15 May 1978 with a magnetophone UHER 4000 and a parabolic 
reflector; the disc of Nicolai in the series Kosmos: Trachtfinken' ; and the 
data provided by Payne (1973), mainly concerning jamesoni. The sounds 
available have provided tracings in an amplitude-frequency on a Kay 
Elemetrics 7029A SonaGraph on a scale of 160 to 16000 Hz with a time 
resolution of i-6 second per tracing. We thank Professor F. Bourliere for 
having placed the necessary equipment at our disposal. 

Before studying the analogies or diveigences which may be apparent 
between L. rhodopareia and bruneli, one must first compare the two different 
samples of F. rhodopareia jamesoni presented by Nicolai and by Payne. Nicolai 
presents 8 structures of different notes belonging to 5 types (Fig. 1): (A). 
Ascending note, strongly modulated (3000-6500 Hz), in rapid series (alarm). 
(Bi). Sharp descending note (7500-5 500 Hz). (B2). Note first ascending, 
then going through evolutions as in Bi. (Ci). Ascending a little, short, final 
accentuation above 3500 Hz. (C 2). Related to preceding, more rapidly 
modulated. (C3). Likewise related, persisting only in an accentuation above 
3500 Hz. (D). Gently ascending, 2500 to 7500 Hz. (E). Halting note, of 
complex harmonic structure, average frequency progressively ascending. 

In his audiospectrograph 6, Payne (1973: 69) shows 8 types of different 
notes (counting as a type the 3 alarm notes a, b and c, all very similar, and as 
another type e and f, similar in the slowness of the variations of frequency 
and in the extent of modulation). 

Between these 2 authors there are only 3 notes analogous or identical: 
(A) of Nicolai =a, b and c of Payne; (C2) of Nicolai =d of Payne; (D) of 
Nicolai =e and f of Payne. Apart from these 3 common to both, there are 2 
original notes for Nicolai and 5 for Payne. This shows that the samples are 
very incomplete, but this is not unexpected, since neither author attempted to 
study numerous individuals of all ages from all regions and in all situations, 
captive or free, of this one species. 

As to bruneli, the available elements of its repertory can be classed as 
follows (Fig. 2): — (A). Ascending note strongly modulated (3000-6500 Hz) 
in rapid series (alarm). The note is identical in jamesoni, in which however the 
rhythm is more rapid (Fig. i.A). (B). Descending note, sharp, with slight 
final accentuation (7000-4000 Hz), analogous to that of jamesoni (Fig. iB), 
isolated or in series (song). (Ci). Short vibrant note, sharp (7000 Hz), near 
to jamesoni (Fig. 1. Ci). (C2). Short note, sharp, slack (6000 Hz). (C3). Very 
short note, sharp, repeated (6000 Hz), analogous to that of jamesoni (Fig. 1. 
C3). (D). Note descending slowly in frequency, finally ascending, emitted 

i6 7 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(2)] 

in series in the form of a song. Although this note has no equivalent in 
jamesoni, one finds it in an imitation of jamesoni made by Vidua chalybeata 
amauropteryx (audiospectrograph 1 1 of Payne, 1973 : 74, last note in series f). 
(E). Note of complex structure of average frequency, somewhat ascending 
(compare jame son/', Fig. i.E). 



:i hum 



B 2 


<• .• r r <* 

c 2 



c 3 

• 1 1 1 1 1 i • « 1 1 • 1 1 1 ( 


\ * / / / 



! \ \ \ \ 

K t< K K K 

! ? • 

Fig. 1 . Lagonosticta rhodopareia jamesoni. Sonagram after the disc of Nicolai (wide-band 
filter, 300 Hz, scale of frequency 160-16000). 









V V V %< 




-6 ft 




1 M 1 1 1 • » * ' 



ill**' ,1% <w 

" 2 0.5 

HI w 





Fig. 2. Lagonosticta rhodopareia bruneli. Sonagram of recordings by J. Brunei (wide-band 
filter, scale of frequency 160-16000). 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 168 

Thus we have for bruneli 7 types of notes. A and B are practically identical 
with A and B in jamesoni; Ci and C3 resemble strongly jamesoni Ci and C3; 
C2 in bruneli approaches h of Payne. Only notes D and E have no direct 
equivalent in jamesoni. On a final assessment, bruneli and jamesoni have 5 
types of notes in common, even 6 if the imitation of Vidua is accepted. This 
significant proportion of 6 out of 7 notes clearly shows the affinity between 
these 2 populations. 

Furthermore, the structure of song is simple and identical: either a series 
in slow rhythm of notes (some 5 per second) strongly and slowly modulated 
in frequency, or a series in rapid rhythm of notes (some 10 to 12 per second) 
in general little modulated. 

The acoustic divergencies between bruneli and jamesoni (not exceeding, or 
even less important than, those noted in the 2 series o£ jamesoni studied above) 
are limited, and concern essentially only the rhythm of the roulade ('roll') 
of alarm and the frequency of the notes, with little or no modulation — 
c. 6000 Hz for bruneli as against 3500 Hz for jamesoni. 


Studies of the behaviour of Lagonosticta relate essentially to birds in capti- 
vity (Goodwin 1964, 1969, Hariison 1957, 1962 a, b, 1963, Kunkel 1967, 
Nicolai 1964) and were concerned essentially with clarifying Estrildidae 
systematics. Only Morel (1973) znd Payne (1973) were really concerned with 
field studies. Morel worked only on L. senegala, and Payne was mainly inter- 
ested in vocalisations imitated by Hjpochera. 

Colour-patterns, especially those exhibited laterally for display, together 
with vocalisations are important in sexual and even individual recognition. 
By contrast, little is known about visual and acoustic mechanisms together 
in specific recognition. In the absence of experimental work, one cannot 
actually determine the significance of any particular morphological or acous- 
tic difference in specific isolation. 

In Lagonosticta, visual stimuli in the form of highly ritualised displays, 
would seem more important than voice in pair-formation (cf. for example 
Moiel, 1973: 100, for L. senegald). However, one cannot exclude voice 
entirely in pair-formation, as attested for L. rhodopareia jamesoni by Immel- 
mann & Immelmann (1967: 625) from their observations in natura in Rhode- 
sia. They found that one male keeps apart from a group and displays with the 
stem of a plant, singing at the same time and this attracts any unattached 
female. On her approach there follows a specific greeting behaviour ('Greet- 
ing display' of Goodwin, 'Recognition posture' of Harrison, 'Curtseying' of 
Kunkel). In fact, Immelmann & Immelmann do not indicate whether the 
stem display and the song are delivered simultaneously or alternately and this 
is important, since the observations on Lagonosticta in captivity, or even on 
senegala in the wild, stress that during the stem display the vocalisations emit- 
ted do not constitute a true song but are isolated notes audible at only very 
short range. By contrast, males are known to emit a solitary song (inhibited 
by the presence of a congener, cf. Harrison 1962 b), which is varied and 
relatively far carrying. In L. rhodopareia, according to Goodwin (1964: 105), 
this solitary song is a mixture of the elements of its repertoire, exclusive of 
the alarm notes. So one may ask whether the observations of the Immel- 
manns do not in fact concern unattached males trying to attract females by 
their solitary song, performing the stem display on their approach, followed 
by ritual greetings when still closer together. In these circumstances, the 


[Butt.B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

solitary song provides for specific identification of the male by the female. 
Recognition would be followed (by the female) or started (by the male) 
according to visual criteria (behaviour and/or colour patterns) during dis- 
plays at close quarters. 

Accepting that all Lagonosticta showing much red in the plumage evoke 
aggression in other males of the genus, one might suppose that the meeting 
of a female bruneli with a male rhodopareia (nominate, jamesoni or ansorgei) 
would compel such reactions in the latter. But it must be stressed that the 
female of bruneli is not completely andromorphic (absence of red on the 
cheeks, presence of ochraceous on the underparts), so that a male's aggression 
might not be roused, and the female be recognised, as such by her behaviour 
on approach. Likewise, there is nothing to stop one supposing that a male 
bruneli would accept a female rhodopareia despite her dull colour. Goodwin 
(1969) stresses the physiological incompatibility which seems to exist 
between jamesoni and virata, and to suggest that they are specifically distinct. 
A male jamesoni and female virata, after a long period of reciprocally aggres- 
sive behaviour (perhaps due to their similarity in colour, though nevertheless 
with a divergence in voice), did finally pair off and numerous eggs were laid, 
of which only one hatched. We cannot assume the existence of ethological 
isolating mechanisms between virata and bruneli, all the more so because the 
displays of bruneli remain unknown; while the vocalisations of virata, 
described by Harrison and by Goodwin (who found differences from those 
of jamesoni), have not been the subject of mechanical recordings but only of 
onomatopoeic transcriptions and descriptions not permitting precise acoustic 

Table i 
Rhodopareia j ante soni 

'Roulade' Slope of 
('Roll') or modulation 
'Rattle' (Fig. less strong 
1 and 2. A) in bruneli 
'Trill' (Fig. notes little or 
1 and 2. C3) unmodulated 17/sec. 

in both 
Song Average 

4-8 notes 

Rhythm Frequencies 


R. bruneli 


29/sec. 3000-6500 Hz 14'5/sec. 3000-6500 Hz 

3500 Hz 

3500-7500 Hz 

1 2- 5 /sec. 

4*5 notes 


6000 Hz 

4000-7000 Hz 

long note 4500 Hz 
short note 3500 Hz 

5500-7500 Hz 

Note isolated 
not modulated 
in frequency 
(Payne 6=h, i 
and Fig. 2. C2) 
Note isolated structures 
moderately very close 
descending in 
Note isolated, 
complex (Fig. 
2. E) 

Table 1. Resemblances and divergences in the vocalisations of Lagonosticta rhodopareia 
jamesoni and L. r. bruneli. 

Among those differences which we have revealed in comparing the vocali- 
sations of bruneli and rhodopareia (see Table 1), those in the rhythm of the 

short note 6000 Hz 

4000-7000 Hz 

Average frequency 
around 5000 Hz 

[Bull.B.O.C. JpSo: 100(2)] 170 

'roll' or 'rattle' (corresponding to the alarm call) are doubtless important in 
specific recognition, although this call may be made during relief at the nest 
(Goodwin 1969). The trill and the short unmodulated note are in the cate- 
gory of contact calls, and can be utilised in the song (cf. Payne 1973 : 88). 
There is no answer to the question whether, in fact, the difference of rhythm 
of the trill and above all the use of well separated frequencies, constitute 
parameters of specific acoustic recognition. 

Thus we continue to consider bruneli as a well marked geographical race 
of L. rhodopareia. The important differences in colour and voice show that it 
is an old isolate, perhaps suitably regarded as a semispecies. 

Acknowledgement : We are indebted to C. W. Benson for translating our manuscript. 

References : 

Erard, C. & Roche, J. 1977. Un nouveau Lagonosticta du Tchad meridional. L'Oiseau et 

R.F.O. 47: 335-343- 
Goodwin, D. 1964. Observations on the Dark Firefinch with some comparisons with 

Jameson's Firefinch. Avicult. Mag. 70: 80-105. 

— 1969. Observations on two Jameson's Firefinches. Avicult. Mag. 75: 87-94. 
Harrison, C. J. O. 1957. Notes on the Dark Fire-finch. Avicult. Mag. 63: 128-130. 

— 1962a. An etiological comparison of some Waxbills (Estrildini), and its relevence 
to their taxonomy. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 139: 261-282. 

— 1962b. Solitary song and its inhibition in some Estrildidae. /. Orn. 103 : 369-379. 

— 1963. Jameson's Firefinch and Dark Firefinch. Avicult. Mag. 69: 42. 
Immelmann, K. & Immelmann, G. 1967. Verhaltensokologische Studien an afrikanischen 

und australischen Estrildiden. Zool. Jb. Syst. 94: 609-686. 
Kunkel, P. 1967. Displays facilitating sociability in waxbills of the genera Estrilda and 

Lagonosticta. Behaviour 29: 237—261. 
Morel, M. Y. 1973. Contribution a 1' etude dynamique de la population de Lagonosticta 

senegala L. (Estrildides) a Richard-Toll (Senegal). Interrelations avec le parasite 

Hypochera chabybeata (Miiller) (Viduines). Mem. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. A, Zool. 78: 

Nicolai, J. 1964. Der Brut parasitismus der Viduinae als ethologisches Problem. Z. Tier- 

psychol. 21: 129-204. 
Payne, R. B. 1973. Behaviour, mimetic songs and song dialects, and relationships of the 

parasitic indigobirds {Vidua) of Africa. A.O.U. Orn. Monogr. 11. 

Adiresses: J. Brunei, B. P. 179, Moundou, Tchad; C. Chappuis, 24 Rue de Carville, 76000 
Rouen, France; Dr. C. Erard, Laboratoire de Zoologie, Mammiferes et Oiseaux, Museum 
National d'Histoire Naturelle, 55 Rue de Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Further notes on uncommon forest birds in Ghana 

by M. A. Macdonald 

R eceived 24 October iyyy 
Macdonald & Taylor (1977) described the occurrence of several rare or 
little known birds in forest habitats in Ghana. The notes below, which are 
based mainly on work done between September 1977 and July 1978, supple- 
ment the earlier observations. Co-ordinates for the places mentioned are 
shown in Table 1 . 

Cassinaetus africanus Cassin's Hawk-eagle. On 17 Nov 1977 an adult 
was apparently incubating on the nest found in the previous December in the 
Pra Suhien Forest Reserve (Macdonald & Taylor 1977). An active colony of 
White-naped Weavers P/oceus albinucha surrounded the nest. The other adult 
eagle perched in the open in nearby trees, often close to the observer, 
showing little sign of alarm. Occasionally it called a rather weak cracked 

171 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(2)] 

'tcheea' and a loud 'whi whi whi whoi' repeated thrice, both calls of similar 
quality to calls of the Allied Hornbill Tockusfasciatus. When a pair of Crowned 
Eagles Stephanoaetus coronatus soared high over the nest, the perched bird 
rose and saw them off. When the nest was next visited on 17 December, no 
eagles were seen and the weavers had deserted their colony. The eagles were 
not seen on subsequent monthly visits, the last of which was on 24 June 1978. 

Table i 

Co-ordinates and brief descriptions of places in Ghana named in the text 

Place Co-ordinates Description 

Ankasa G.P.R. 5 ° 1 3 'N, 2 39 'W Primary forest 

Ejinase 5 15 'N, i° 3o'W Cocoafarm 

Pra Suhien F.R. 5 icj'N, i° 24 'W Closed secondary forest 

Kakum F.R. 5 20 'N, i° 22 'W Closed secondary forest 

AduamoaF.R. 6° 42 'N, o° 46 ' W Closed secondary forest 

Amedzofe 6° 5 2 'N, o° 28 'E Mixed habitats on forest-savanna 


G.P.R. = Game production reserve. F.R. = Forest reserve 

Agapornis swinderniana Black-collared Lovebird. Two additional 
records were obtained of birds flying over the canopy at Kakum F.R. on 
26 Jan 1978 (3 birds) and at Pra Suhien F.R. on 7 April 1978 (1 bird). 

Melignomon sp. Honeyguide. A single bird resembling the unnamed 
species known from Cameroun and Liberia (Snow 1978) was seen at about 
5 m range in Kakum F.R. on 2 Oct 1977. The slender but not exceptionally 
fine bill identified it as Melignomon. In size it was similar to the Little Greenbul 
Andropadus virens, thus differing from the similarly plumaged Honey-guide 
Bulbul Baeopogon indicator (larger) and Cassin's Honey-guide Prodotiscus 
insignis (smaller) which occurred in the same forest. Above, it was dark olive. 
Head and underparts were pale smoky grey. The tail was white with obvious 
dark tips to the rather broad feathers. The eye was dark. Bill and leg colour 
were not noted. The bird was skulking in a small tree ( ? Trema) about 3 m 
above the ground. 

Apalis sharpei Sharpe's Apalis. The call of this species was recognised in 
December 1977 as a quiet but far-carrying 'pirit pirit pirit . . .', the stress 
falling on the first syllable. Subsequent sight and aural records confirmed 
that the species was common in forest reserves, although more often heard 
than seen. New locality records were at Ankasa Game production Reserve, 
Ejinase, Pra Suhien F.R. and Aduamoa F.R. 

Remiz flavifrons Forest Penduline Tit. This species, apparently rare in 
the Upper Guinea forests (Hall & Moreau 1970), is the subject of a puzzling 
observation. It was seen first on 12 June 1977, when at least 30 were feeding 
in the low foliage and among the debris of old weaver-ant Oecophylla sp. nests 
in Kakum F.R. They were scattered singly or in groups of 2-3 birds. On 1 5 
June only 2 were seen, and on 19 June none was recorded even after a 
careful search of the upper foliage. The species was not seen again. 
Nigrita luteifrons Pale-fronted Negro-finch. Two birds, behaving as a 
pair, were seen foraging in low secondary growth on the edge of a farm 
among partly cleared forest at Amedzofe on 3 June 1978. The species is listed 
by Serle et a/. (1977) as occurring in Ghana, but I have found no other 
reference to its presence west of Nigeria. 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(2)] 172 

Vc ^ A. ' 

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Mr. A. Forbes-Watson for discussion ofvAe honey* 

guide record, and to Prof. P. G. Jarvis who kindly provided facilities at the University 
of Edinburgh where the paper was prepared. 

References : 

Hall, B. P. & Moreau, R. E. 1970. An Atlas of Spec iat ion in African Passerine Birds. Trus- 
tees of the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) : London. 

Macdonald, M. A. & Taylor, I. R. 1977. Notes on some uncommon forest birds in Ghana. 
Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 97: 1 16-120. 

Serle, W., Morel, G. J. & Hartwig, W. 1977. A Field Guide to the Birds of West Africa. 
Collins : London. 

Snow, D. W. 1978. An Atlas of Speciation in African non-Passerine Birds. Trustees of the Bri- 
tish Museum (Nat. Hist.) : London. 

Address: M. A. Macdonald, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana. {Present 
address) c/o Dept. of Forestry and Natural Resources, King's Buildings, Mayfield Road, 

© British Ornithologists' Club 


Ornithology in the Malagasy Faunal Region 

In my article 'Fifty years of ornithology in the Malagasy Faunal Region' {Bull. Brit. Orn. 
CI. 1980: 100(1): 76-80) I omitted mention in the last paragraph under Madagascar of any 
publication in Arnoldia{Rhod.). Two containing significant information, both by M. P. Stuart 
Irwin and myself, are: 5(33), 1972, dealing with Pachycoccyx audeberti; and 7(17), 1975, in 
which the genus Crossleyia is resuscitated and returned to the Timaliidae from the 

28 April 1980 C. W. Benson 

Address: Dept. of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EJ, England. 

Dunlin Calidris alpina breeding in China 

Voous (i960) describes the breeding distribution of Dunlin Calidris alpina as almost circum- 
polarly holarctic, the most southerly breeding area being the British Isles. Occasionally, 
however, Dunlin breed further south than this. Abel Chapman shot a bird off a C/4 at 
Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia, Spain on 24 April 1872. This clutch is in the Seebohm 
collection at the British Museum (Natural History) Tring ( 1 90 1.1. 1.5 002-5 -M. 
Walters, pers.comm.) and was recorded by Seebohm (1888). 

In China, the Dunlin is not regarded as a breeding species (Cheng 1976 and pers.comm.). 
Jones (191 1) however suggested that Dunlin may breed in the locality of Wei Hat Wei 
(Shantung peninsula), although proof of this has been lacking. A series of Dunlin skins 
from the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, was examined by me which included 
a pullus obtained at Tsingtao, Shantung on 7 May 1927 by Rufus H. Lefevre (reg. no. 
108004). P. J. Morgan (National Museum of Wales) and I estimated the pullus to be about 
2^—3 weeks old and incapable of flight. R. M. de Schauensee (Academy of Natural Sciences) 
assures me that the specimen label is reliable, so that there can be no doubt as to the authen- 
ticity of the specimen. 

Acknowledgements: I am indebted to the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia for 
the loan of specimens. 

References : 

Cheng, T. 1976. Distributional List of Chinese Birds. Peking. 

Jones, M. B. 191 1. On some birds observed in the vicinity of Wei Hai Wei, north-east 
China. Ibis 9 (5): 657-695. 

Seebohm, H. 1888. The Geographical Distribution of the Family Charadriidae or the Plovers, Sand- 
pipers, Snipes, and their Allies. London. 

Voous, K. H. i960. Atlas of European Birds . London: Nelson. 

25 January 1980 Julian G. Greenwood 

Address: Biology Department, Liverpool Polytechnic, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF. 
Present address: Science Department, Stranmillis College, Belfast BT9 5DY, Northern Ire- 


Papers, whether by Club Members or by non-members, should be sent to the 
Editor, Dr. J. F. Monk, The Glebe Cottage, Goring, Reading RG8 9AP, and 
are accepted on the understanding that they are offered solely for publication 
in the Bulletin. They should be typed on one side of the paper, with double- 
spacing and a wide margin, and submitted with a duplicate copy on airmail 

Scientific nomenclature and the style and lay-out of papers and of Refer- 
ences should conform with usage in this or recent issues of the Bulletin^ unless 
a departure is explained and justified. Photographic illustrations, although 
welcome, can only be accepted if the contributor is willing to pay for their 

An author wishing to introduce a new name or describe a new form should 
append nom.^gen^ sp. or subsp. nov., as appropriate, and set out the supporting 
evidence under the headings "Description", "Distribution", "Type", 
"Measurements of Type" and "Material examined", plus any others needed. 

A contributor is entitled to 10 free reprints of the pages of the Bulletin in 
which his contribution, if one page or more in length, appears. Additional 
reprints or reprints of contributions of less than one page may be ordered 
when the manuscript is submitted and will be charged for. 

Available post free on application to Dr. D. W. Snow, Zoological Museum, 
Tring, Herts HP23 9AP, England, as follows: 1973-present (Vols. 93-99) 
issues (4 per year), £2.00 each issue; 1969-72 (Vols. 89-92) issues (6 per 
year), £1.50 each; pre- 1969 (generally 9 per year) £1.00 each. Indices £1.00 
each. Long runs (over 10 years) may be available at reduced prices on 
enquiry, higher prices may be charged otherwise for scarce numbers. 


Only Members of the British Ornithologists' Union are eligible to join the 
Club : applications should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, Mrs. D. Bradley, 
53 Osterley Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, together with the current year's 
subscription. The remittance and all other payments to the Club should 
always be in sterling unless an addition of 95P is made to cover bank 
charges for exchange, etc. Payment of subscription entitles a Member to 
receive all Bulletins for the year. Changes of address and revised bankers' 
orders or covenants (and any other correspondence concerning Membership) 
should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer as promptly as possible. 

The Bulletin may be purchased by non-members on payment of an annual 
subscription of £9 • 00 (postage and index free). Send all orders and remit- 
tances in sterling, unless an addition of 95 p is made to cover bank charges, to 
the Hon. Treasurer. Single issues may be obtained as back numbers (see above). 


Correspondence about Club meetings and other matters not mentioned 
above should go to the Hon. Secretary, R. E. F. Peal, 2 Chestnut Lane, 
Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3AR. 

Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road Sevenoaks Kent. 

Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 100 No. 3 

September 1 980 


Tuesday, 18 November 1980 at the Senior Common Room, South Side, 
Imperial College, Princes Gardens, S.W.7 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. Dr. 
Christoph Imboden, on Some endangered bird species in New Zealand and work 
by the New Zealand Wildlife Service to save them from extinction, with illustrations 
by colour slides. Those wishing to attend should send their acceptances with 
a cheque for £4.75 a person to the Hon. Secretary at 2 Chestnut Lane, Seven- 
noaks, Kent TN 1 3 3 AR (telephone Sevenoaks (073 2) 5 03 1 3) to arrive not later 
than first post on Thursday, 13 November 1980. 

Dr. Imboden is Executive Director of the International Council for 
Bird Presevation and, until taking up that appointment earlier this year, was 
Director of Research in the New Zealand Wildlife Service, so is exception- 
ally well aquainted with the problems of endangered bird species, of which 
New Zealand has some 10% of the world total. 

Tuesday, 13 January 1981 at the same venue at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. Mr. 
Stanley Cramp, O.B.E., President of the Union, on Ornithology and Con- 
servation in Europe. 

Tuesday, 3 March 1981 at the same venue, Professor G. M. Dunnet, 
Ph.D., Regius Professor of Natural History at Aberdeen University, will 
speak on Thirty years of Fulmars. 

Gifts or offers for sale of unwanted back numbers of the 
Bulletin are very welcome 


D. R. Calder {Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) 

Dr. J. F. Monk {Editor) 


R. A. N. Croucher 

B. Gray ( Vice-Chair man) 

Mrs. D. M. Bradley {Hon. Treasurer) 
R. D. Chancellor 

C. F. Mann 

t:,) British Ornithologists' Club 

/? R 

5s % 

173 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 190(3)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol. 1 00 No. 3 Published : 20 September 1 980 


The seven hundred and twenty-eighth Meeting of the Club was held at Sevenoaks on 
Saturday, 31 May 1980, commencing at 11.40 a.m. 

Those participating were :- 

Members — B. GRAY (Chairman), J. K. ADAMS, Mrs. D. M. BRADLEY, D. GRIFFIN, 

Guests — Miss M. BARRY, M. COATH, Dr. D. L. HARRISON, Mrs. P. HOGG, 
Mrs. R. E. F. PEAL and Miss R. THORPE. 

In the morning there was a visit to the Harrison Zoological Museum in which Dr. D. L. 
Harrison showed the Club the fine collection of mounted specimens and some of the very 
large collection of unmounted skins. A buffet lunch, kindly provided by Mrs. R. E. F. 
Peal at 2 Chestnut Lane, followed and the afternoon was spent at the reserve established 
by the late Dr. J. G. Harrison on gravel pits at Sevenoaks. Here, Dr. P. F. Harrison, 
assisted by Mr. M. Coath, conducted the party, explaining the development of the area as a 
Wildfowl Refuge, and a number of interesting species were seen. It rained in the morning 
but the afternoon was dry and the Meeting ended about 5 p.m. 

The seven hundred and twenty-ninth Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday, 8 July 1980 at 7 p.m. 
The attendance was 22 members and 19 guests. 

Members present were:- D. R. CALDER (Chairman), J. K. ADAMS, Mrs. S. VERE 

Guests present were:- F. B. S. ANTRAM, Miss M. BARRY, Miss S. N. CONDER, 
Miss S. P. F. DIXON, E. F. J. GARCIA, R. A. HUME, A. M. HUTSON, Mrs. C. 

Mr. Richard Porter spoke on "Raptor migration in Europe and the Middle East" and 
illustrated his address with many excellent slides. He dealt primarily with raptors that need 
thermals on migration to Africa and also with other soaring birds migrating thither. He 
gave numbers of the various species observed crossing in autumn the Straits of Gibraltar, 
the Bosphorus and the Pontus mountains near the east end of the Black Sea respectively; 
he discussed the timing and origin of these birds and their routes onward. 

Diet and subspeciation in the Gentoo Penguin 

Pygoscelis papua 

by A. J. Williams 

Received 28 November 1979 
Pygoscelis penguins - Gentoo P. papua, Adelie P. adeliae, and Chinstrap P. 
antarctka - have their centre of distribution in the Scotia Arc region, where, 
on the belt of islands from the Antarctic Peninsula to the South Sandwich 
Islands (approximately 56°-65°S), all 3 species breed sympatrically (Watson 
1975). These islands fringe seas which contain the greatest concentrations of 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 174 

euphausiid crustaceans in the southern hemisphere and euphausiids predomi- 
nate in the diet of all three Pygoscelis penguins in the Scotia Arc region 
(Bagshawe 1938, White & Conroy 1975, Trivelpiece et al. in prep.). Gentoo 
Penguins, largest of the Pygoscelis penguins, take the largest individual 
euphausiids (Trivelpiece et al. in prep.). 

Within the Subantarctic - roughly the zone between areas covered by pack 
ice in winter and the subtropical convergence - Adelie and Chinstrap Pen- 
guins are scarce, with only small breeding populations at a few localities, but 
the Gentoo Penguin is widespread and breeds at most island groups (Watson 
1975). Within this zone the few available reports suggest that fish is more 
important in the diet of Gentoo Penguins than krill (Murphy 1936, Ealey 
1954, pers. obs.). At South Georgia, where krill predominate in the diet 
during the entire breeding season (from November to February), there is in 
February a significant increase in the amount of fish taken by Gentoo Pen- 
guins and the ability to catch fish may be critical in the occasional years when 
krill swarms fail to appear in inshore waters (Croxall & Prince in press). If, 
as seems likely, larger body size in penguins is correlated with ability to dive 
to greater depths, then Gentoo Penguins should be able to dive and feed at 
greater depths than other Pygoscelis penguins, which may account for the 
greater frequency of fish, including benthic species, in their diet when com- 
pared with the diet of Adelie and Chinstrap Penguins (White & Conroy 1975, 
Croxall & Prince 1980, Trivelpiece et al. in prep.). 

Two subspecies of Gentoo Penguin are currently recognised: P.p. 
ellsworthi which breeds in the Scotia Arc region, and nominate papua which 
breeds further north on Subantarctic islands including South Georgia 
(Murphy 1947, Stonehouse 1970). Normally - following Bergmann's rule - 
high latitude taxa have larger bodies but reduced extremities compared with 
related taxa at lower latitudes. In the Gentoo Penguin however the high lati- 
tude subspecies ellsworthi is smaller and has proportionately longer feet and 
flippers than the low latitude papua (Stonehouse 1970). This anomaly may 
be explained if, in areas where krill are often or occasionally scarce, Gentoo 
Penguins have developed a larger body size in response to the need to take 
more fish. That a change from a predominantly krill diet to one in which 
fish predominate may be important in producing subspeciation in the Gentoo 
Penguin is supported by the difference in the size and shape of the bill in 
the two subspecies. The bill of ellsworthi is terminally slender and has a small 
culmenicorn and resembles the bill of the essentially krill-feeding Chinstrap 
Penguin; the bill of nominate papua is longer, terminally broad and has a 
large culmenicorn and more nearly resembles the bill of Spheniscus penguins 
which feed largely upon fish (Murphy 1947 : Fig. 1). 

Acknowledgements: I am obliged to my colleague R. K. Brooke tor useful comments on 
this paper. 

References : 

Bagshawe, T. W. 1938. Notes on the habits of the Gentoo and Ringed or Antarctic Pen- 
guin. Trans. Zool. Soc. London 24: 185-306. 

Croxall, J. P. & Prince, P. A. 1980. Food of Gentoo Penguins Pygoscelis papua and Mac- 
aroni Penguins Eudyptes chrysolophus at South Georgia. Ibis 122: 245-253. 

Ealey, E. H. M. 1954. Analysis of stomach contents of some Heard Island birds. Emu 54: 

Murphy, R. C. 1936. OceanicBirds of South America. New York: American Mus. Nat. Hist. 

Murphy, R. C. 1947. A new zonal race of the Gentoo Penguin. Auk 64: 454-455. 

175 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

Stonehouse, B. 1970. Geographic variation in Gentoo Penguins Pygoscelis papua. Ibis 112: 

5 2 -57- 

Trivelpiece, W., Butler, R. G. & Volkman, N. J. In prep. Chinstrap penguin as an eco- 
logical indicator of krill abundance in the Antarctic. 

Watson, G. E. 1975. Birds of the Antarctic and Sub- Antarctic. Washington D.C. : American 
Geophysical Union. 

White, M. C. & Conroy, J. W. H. 1975. Aspects of competition between Pygoscelid pen- 
guins at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Ibis 117: 371-373. 

Address: A. J. Williams, Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of 
Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700, South Africa. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

A small breeding colony of the Rock Pratincole 
Glareola nuchalis liberiae in Togo 

by Robert A. Cheke 

Received 12 December 19/9 

There are 2 recognised races of the Rock Pratincole Glareola nuchalis. G. n. 
nuchalis, which has a white nuchal collar, occurs in eastern, central and 
southern Africa and its range meets that of the western race G. n. liberiae, 
distinguished by its rufous collar, in Cameroon (White 1965). Dekeyser 
(195 1) recorded G. n. liberiae in Togo, but I am not aware of any documented 
breeding records of Rock Pratincoles in that country and little information 
has been published about this West African subspecies. 

The colony in Togo, which I visited during the spring and early summer of 
1979, was near Landa-Pozanda (9°3i'N, i°i7'E) on the Kara river, southeast 
of Lama-Kara (9°3 3 'N, i°i2'E). At the breeding site, the river was interrupted 
by an expanse of rock which stretched across the river bed, providing ample 
space for the birds except when the water level was very high. J. F. Walsh 
observed at least 8 Rock Pratincoles there on 18 April 1979, but I saw only 4 
on 7 and 11 May. Five were present on 19 May and 6, all adults, on 26 May. 
The early morning and late evening were the usual times when the pratincoles 
flew to hawk for insects above the river or over the gallery forest fringing it. 
The crepuscular habits of the species were also noted by Brosset (1979), 
who associated this behaviour with diurnal variations in the timing of 
flights by their insect prey. When the pratincoles were feeding over the water 
at Landa-Pozanda they often accompanied other aerial plankton feeders such 
as Palm Swifts Cypsiurus parvus, White-rumped Swifts Apus affinis and Wire- 
tailed swallows Hirundo smithii; but above the trees their most common 
companions were Broad-billed Rollers Eurystomus glaucurus. During much of 
the day the pratincoles stood inactive on the rocks but when it was very hot 
they often squatted in crevices, frequently "gaping". 

On 26 May a greeting display was observed after one bird returned from 
a flight and landed facing another adult bird. On landing, the newcomer 
immediately crouched submissively and uttered a trilling call while its mate 
stretched its body upwards so that its head was almost vertically above its 
feet. The birds then reversed these positions; while the arriving bird raised 
its head up again and stretched its neck to the vertical, so that its body 
profile was much more attenuated than usual, the other bird crouched by 


[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 176 

lowering its head and neck below the horizontal but raised its tail and also 
made trilling calls. These calls were different from the usual warning cries. 
A photograph taken of this behaviour reveals that the nuchal collar of the 
arriving bird was flared into a fan so that at the back of its head the rufous 
patch was 3-4 times greater in size than usual. This flaring of the nuchal 
collar suggests that it is of importance in sexual displays and that it may be 
instrumental in maintaining subspeciation where the two races meet, 
although birds with intermediate collars are known (Snow 1978). 

The breeding habits of G. nuchalis were described by Vincent (1945), 
who stated that no nests are made and that the eggs are laid in a slight 
hollow in a rock. C/2 is usual, although sometimes only one egg is laid. I 
was unable to locate any eggs at Landa-Pozanda but in June it became clear 
that one pair was holding a territory on an isolated strip of rock and that the 
other 2 pairs shared a larger expanse of rock close to the river's edge. One 
of these pairs always became very excited whenever I approached a large 
crevice between two rocks in this area. I once saw a pratincole enter this 
gap and later emerge from it but I was unable to reach far enough to deter- 
mine whether or not it contained any eggs or young. 

Only 3 pairs of pratincoles were seen and these 6 adults were alone on 3 
July; but on the evening of 7 July they were accompanied by 4 fledglings, 
which could not fly but were well feathered. I had, possibly, overlooked them 
on my previous visit as their plumage is cryptic against the rocky background 
and Brosset (1979) illustrates this with a photograph of 2 juveniles hiding 
in a crevice. Bannerman (195 1) described the young of G. n. liberiae, and 
I can only add that the bill and eyes of the Togo juveniles were wholly 
black, their legs dull orange. There was a grey wash on their breasts, a 
character also mentioned by Bannerman (195 1), but White (1945) states 
that the breast feathers of juvenile G. n. nuchalis are fringed with buff. 

The unusual manner in which the young are fed and their behaviour 
towards the adults has not been described. At 18.15 hours on 7 July, a 
juvenile with its head lowered ran very fast towards an adult, which had 
just returned from a flight, and collided with it at full speed. The young bird 
then pivoted in a semi-circle around the adult with its head buried in the 
latter's breast feathers. When the juvenile stopped moving it raised its head 
and the parent bird promptly passed it some food from its bill. On a second 
occasion after a similar series of movements, which presumably serve to 
stimulate the adult to regurgitate food from its crop, the parent dropped the 
food onto a rock from which the juvenile picked it up. Later, an adult 
returned from a feeding flight and landed about 5 m away from a young 
bird where it dropped some food on the rock surface before walking towards 
the juvenile. The latter charged at the adult as usual and pivoted in a half 
circle about it. The adult immediately dropped some more food which the 
young bird took at once. Next, the adult turned and walked towards where it 
had left the first morsel. The young bird eventually followed but did not 
locate the food until the adult pecked at it, whereupon the young bird 
helped itself. On some occasions the juveniles pestered the adults by pecking 
directly at their bills. Two of the 4 juveniles were being fed by one pair and 
the other 2 juveniles were apparently the progeny of the 2 other pairs, but it 
is also possible that some of these birds were acting as helpers. 

On the evening of 10 July the juveniles were still unable to fly and at this 


[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

time there were still plenty of exposed rocks for them ; but during the night 
the river level rose dramatically and the following morning most of the 
pratincoles' usual resting sites were submerged and they were forced to sit 
on the few remaining vantage points. It is very probable that if the river 
had risen in this fashion only a few days earlier, when the juveniles had been 
younger and more vulnerable, they would have perished. Brosset (1979) 
said that juvenile G. nuchalis can swim like ducklings, but at this site the 
force of the Kara river in full flood would have swept any bird to its death. 
All 10 birds were still alive on 1 5 July, the first date when I saw a young bird 
fly, and they were still present on 20 July, the last date when I visited the site. 
At least one bird was there on 26 October (J. F. Walsh). 

Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar 

Fig. 1. The water level (metres) of the Kara River, taken weekly at Lama-Kara. 

Fig. 1 shows weekly water level readings taken from March 1978 to July 
1979 using a gauge in the Kara river at Lama-Kara, which is close to Landa- 
Pozanda. The birds evidently began breeding at a time when the river was 
beginning to rise (May-June), in contrast to some East African populations 
of G. n. nuchalis which complete breeding before the water levels start to rise 
(Benson & Irwin 1965). If a low water level, however, is the factor determin- 
ing the timing of breeding then, according to Fig. 1, the birds would be expected 
to breed between December and April. Presumably, therefore, other in- 
fluences are involved, and an increase in the availability of insect prey with 
the onset of the rains may be important. The ecology of G. n. nuchalis has 
been discussed by Brosset (1979) who described the results of 9 years' study 
of a colony in Gabon. Brosset concluded that at his site there were 2 breeding 
periods each year, both coinciding with dry seasons, and suggested that the 
visual stimulus of the re-appearance of rocks in the river provided the cue 
for the birds to start laying. Brosset also said that his birds were sedentary 
and that during the rainy seasons when their usual rocky haunts were sub- 
merged they became elusive and less visible by perching in trees. This 
observation contrasts with the views of Benson & Irwin (1965), who con- 
sidered that the species was a regular migrant, an opinion supported by 
Tree (1969) and Elgood et al. (1973). The latter referred to Wells & Walsh 
(1969), who observed G. nuchalis on the Niger river at Borgou, in Nigeria, 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] !7 8 

only between 9 March and 1 September, during which time it was only 
common between late April and mid-July. This restricted period coincides 
with the time when the river was at its lowest, although ample rock space 
was available until mid-November (J. F. Walsh). Snow (1978) also states 
that these pratincoles breed when the rivers are at their lowest. However 
this was not the case in Togo, as the river was beginning to rise in March 
and it was very high in both 1978 and 1979 during July (Fig. 1), the month 
when the fledglings appeared. Thus the species' breeding can be a precarious 
process. The birds in Togo did not lay until the rains began, but then had to 
rear their fledglings before these rains had increased sufficiently to turn the 
river, at their site, into a torrent. However, it is possible that the young 
were a second brood or that the first clutches had failed and the birds 
consequently bred later than usual. Also if the birds are migrants they may 
be able to breed elsewhere, at other times of the year, and so have 2 breeding 
periods a year like the Gabon birds. The latter can, of course, benefit from 2 
dry seasons without migrating. 

Acknowledgements: I thank J. F. Walsh for telling me about the existence of the pratincole 
colony and for his encouragement and comments. S. Sowah kindly gave me access to the 
water level data collected by the W.H.O. Onchocerciasis Control Programme. J. A. Coles 
and R. J. Douthwaite criticised the manuscript. 

References : 

Bannerman, D. A. 195 1. Birds of 'Tropical West Africa. Volume 8. Crown Agents: London. 

Benson, C. W. & Irwin, M. P. S. 1965. Some intra- African migratory birds, II. Puku 3: 

Brosset, A. 1979. Le cycle de reproduction de la glareole Glareola nuchalis; ses determinants 

ecologiques et comportementaux. La Terre et la Vie. 33 : 95-108. 
Dekeyser, P. L. 195 1. Mission A. Villiers au Togo et au Dahomey (1950). III. Oiseaux. 

Etudes Dahomeens 5 : 47-84. 
Elgood, J. H., Fry, C. H. & Dowsett, R. J. 1973. African migrants in Nigeria. Ibis 115 : 

Snow, D. W. (ed). 1978. An Atlas of Speciatwn in African Non-passerine Birds. British 

Museum (Nat. Hist.) : London. 
Tree, A. J. 1969. The status of Ethiopian waders in Zambia. Puku j: 181-205. 
Vincent, A. W. 1945. On the breeding habits of some African birds. Ibis 87: 345-365. 
Wells, D. R. & Walsh, J. F. 1969. Birds of North and Central Borgu.Bull. Niger. Orn. Soc. 6: 

White, C. M. N. 1945. Notes on a small collection from Sesheke, Northern Rhodesia. 

White, C. M. N. 1965. A Revised Check List of African Non-passerine Birds. The Government 

Printer: Lusaka. 

Address: Dr. R. A. Cheke, Centre for Overseas Pest Research, College House, Wrights Lane, 
London W8 5SJ, U.K. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Larus relictus — a review 

by A. R. Kit son 

Introduction Recewed I2 Octoher '979 

During an ornithological survey of wetlands in Mongolia in 1977 (Kitson 
1978) I observed Relict Gulls Larus relictus at a new site. Much of the pub- 
lished material on this species proved difficult to obtain and to be predom- 
inantly in Russian. This review is intended to bring together in English the 
facts known about Larus relictus. 

When Dwight wrote his monograph on the gulls of the world (192 5), Larus 

179 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

relictus had yet to be discovered. The original specimen (see below) was exam- 
ined by Lonnberg (1931b), who considered it to belong to an undescribed 
race of Mediterranean Gull and named it Icarus melanocephalus relictus. 
Dementyev (195 1) reappraised the specimen and, puzzled by its uniqueness, 
invoked the idea that it might not be a form of melanocephalus at all, but an 
aberrant Brown-headed Gull L. brunnicephalus. Alexander (1955) lists it as a 
subspecies of melanocephalus without comment. Mayaud (1956) dismissed 
Dementyev's suggestion in preference for Lonnberg's view. Voous (i960) 
seemingly upheld Lonnberg's classification too and duly extended the range 
of melanocephalus by some 5000 km to include southern Gobi. Vaurie (1962) 
compiled a monograph on the specimen; he too was bedevilled by its con- 
tinued uniqueness - that part of Asia having been collected over quite widely 
- and concluded that it must be a hybrid L. brunnicephalus x Great Black- 
headed Gull L. ichthyaetus, despite their disparity in size, and adduced palae- 
ological and geological theory to dispute the evolutionary implication 
inherent in Lonnberg's hypothesis. Not until Auezov (1970) revealed a col- 
ony of gulls on lake Alakul identical to the problematic skin was the dilemma 
resolved. The following year the same author published a full account of this 
colony, the main data of which were given in support of his claim for Icarus 
relictus Lonnberg, a distinct species. Since then the other records presented 
below have come to light, the most recent being my own from Orok Nor 
and those from Hok Nor, Mongolia. A brief resume of these events and of 
the status of relictus is given by Isenmann (1977). Cheng Tso-hsin (1976) 
merely mentions the original individual for China. Tuck (1978) includes relic- 
tus in his field guide. Voous (1973) has bestowed upon it the English name 
Relict Gull. 

Records <?/Larus relictus 

L. relictus is known from 9 sites in central, eastern and southeastern Asia. 

1. The original specimen came from southern Gobi, collected by K. G. 
Soderbom, a member of Sven Hedin's expedition, on 24 April 1929 at Tson- 
dol on the Etsin* river in northern Inner Mongolia, now in Kansu, China 
(41 53' 3o"N, ioi°6' 3 3 "E) J (Lonnberg 1931a). It is an adult (sex unknown) 
in breeding plumage and is housed at the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseum of 

2. An adult was collected on 9 April 1935 on the west shore of Po Hai 
(Gulf of Chihli), near the port of T'ang-ku (39 00 'N, 117 40 'E), not far 
from T'ien-ching (Tientsin), China. It lay unrecognised in the Zoological 
Institute of the Academy of Science in Leningrad until its discovery by 
Auezov (1971). 

3. At the Torey lakes in Transbaikalia, some 250 km southeast of Chita 
on the Mongolian border (50 9'N, 115 15 'E), flocks of up to 30 were seen 
in May 1963, a single was taken on 12 May 1965 on the eastern lake (Dzoon 
Torey Nor), and a colony of over 100 pairs was discovered in June 1967 
on the western lake (Baroon Torey Nor). Although initially identified as brun- 
nicephalus (Leontyev 1968, reported in Auezov 1971), they have since been 
redetermined as relictus (Auezov 1971, Larionov & Cheltsov-Bebutov 1972). 

*In Mongol it is Etsin or Edsin Gol (gol=river); in Chinese it is evidently called Jo Shu* 
(Times Atlas). fWith the exception of this set of coordinates — given by Lonnberg him- 
self — all others are my own and are approximations only. An absence of coordinates 
indicates that I was unable to pin-point the locality on the maps available to me. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 180 

4. An adult collected 15 May 1966 at Bayan Nor (nor=lake), a small lake 
just south of Buir Nor in eastern Mongolia near the Manchurian frontier (47 
40 'N, 1 1 7 36'E), was falsely labelled as Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus and 
remained so in the collection of the Institute of Biology, Mongolian Academy 
of Science, Ulan Bator until discovered and correctly identified as relictus by 

5. In 1968 a colony of 25-30 pairs was found on Sredni island (0.6 km 2 ) 
in lake Alakul, Kazakhstan (46 i2 r N, 8i° 44 'E) (Auezov 1970). It was the 
investigation of this colony which led to the recognition of the species L. 
relictus (Auezov 1971). Of 193 young ringed there between 1968 and 1971, 
3 have been recovered. The first, ringed at 15-20 days old on 25 June 1968, 
was recovered in the southwest part of Alakul, some 30-40 km south of Sredni 
island on 25 September of that year (Auezov 1974). 

6. The sixth record is of the second recovery from Sredni, a juvenile, ringed 
as a chick 1-5 days old on 3 June 1971 and recovered on 29 August of the 
same year in the Abayesk region of Semipalatinsk Oblast, 250-300 km north- 
west of Sredni island (Auezov 1 974). 

7. The seventh record is of the third and most exciting recovery from 
Sredni, a 1-5 day old chick ringed on 3 June 1971 and recovered on 30 Sept- 
ember that year at lake Bai-ti-Long, Kuangnin province, north Vietnam 
(Auezov 1974). 

8. In 1977 I found about 20 pairs at Orok Nor in Mongolia (45 ° 00 'N, 
ioo° 45 'E) 24 April- 5 May, and 3 at nearby Taatsing Tsagan Nor (45 10 'N, 

9. Three adults were collected at Hok Nor, Mongolia (49 30'N, 115 
35 'E) on 5 July 1977 and have been deposited with the Institute of Biology, 
Academy of Science, Ulan Bator (A. Bold and D. Batdelger). 

Breeding stations ofLarus relictus have thus been established at lake Alakul 
in Kazakstan (no. 5 site) and at the Torey lakes (no. 3) in Transbaikalia. 
Judging from the dates of collection, it is likely that both Buir Nor (no. 4) 
and Hok Nor (no. 9) in eastern and northeastern Mongolia are also breeding 
posts. Furthermore, although my visit toO rok Nor (no. 8) in mid south Mon- 
golia in April was too early in the season to secure direct, proof of breeding, 
I suspect that here lies a fifth breeding locality, since all birds there were 
paired adults and apparently prospecting for nest sites. That relictus does not, 
or at least did not, breed at Orok Nor is however suggested by its failure 
to be detected there by previous investigators. For instance, neither Kozlova 
(1932, 1933), who collected at Orok Nor in the summer of 1925 and during 
the entire spring of 1926, nor Piechocki (1968), who visited it in early June 
1962, reported any strange gulls. Kozlova noted that Black-headed Gulls 
which had been very abundant in April ". . . left in the middle of May, and 
none remained in that region [Orok Nor] to breed" suggesting that, had relic- 
tus been present with and overlooked among the ridibundus, they likewise 
must have moved on. During a survey of the Great Lakes in western Mon- 
golia in summer 1979 (Kitson in prep.) I found no trace of relictus. 

The individual from Inner Mongolia (no. 1) was collected on an early date 
and might reflect a migration route rather than a breeding site. The remaining 
3 records are more enigmatic. The juvenile (no. 6) reported in August north- 
west of its fledging site was presumably a wanderer or on post-fledging dis- 
persal, since a northerly migration in autumn is intuitively unlikely. Although 

i8i [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

the juvenile reported in Vietnam (no. 7) on 30 September may be considered 
as a directional migrant heading for winter quarters, it may also be an 
example of post-fledging dispersal. Moreover, the adult from the Yellow Sea 
in April (no. 2) may hardly be treated as a winter record, rather as a mig- 
rant or vagrant. In short the wintering area of Larus relictus remains 
unknown, but may tentatively be thought of as lying between T'ien-ching 
and Vietnam in the East and South China Seas. 
Yield characters 

My experience of relictus is limited to the adult plumage. In the com- 
parisons made below I am familiar with all species except L. saundersi, which 
I have not seen. 

Adult. In the field the adult relictus strongly recalls melanocephalus, partic- 
ularly second-year individuals, by virtue of the black marks at the wing tip. 
It is larger than ridibundus (Fig. 1) and differs from it in having a more exten- 
sive, blackish (not brown) hood, a heavier bill and predominantly whitish 
wings. Similarly, from brunnicephalus it may be identified by its mostly black 
(not wholly brown) head and whiter wings. Relict Gulls continually 
reminded me of small ichthyaetus, having in common both wing pattern and 
head pattern. From the rare Saunders' Gull L. saundersi and Little Gull jL. 
minutus — the only other Asiatic hooded gulls — relictus must be quickly dis- 
tinguishable by its greater size in every respect and lack of black on the under- 
wing (excepting the wing tip). Notwithstanding the unlikelihood of relictus 
being encountered within the range of melanocephalus, the adults of these 2 
species are readily separable by their wing pattern, the primaries of melan- 
ocephalus appearing entirely white, those of relictus being marked with black 
(Fig. 1). On the other hand melanocephalus in second-year plumage normally 
shows some black markings on the leading primaries and, although this pig- 
mentation is often far more reduced than in adult relictus, other differentiating 
characters need to be made use of: relictus is bigger than melanocephalus , is 
longer in the leg, has a more massive bill (see below under measurements), 
a hood which is chocolate-coloured anteriorly and dull sooty black poster- 
iorly (whereas it is black in melanocephalus), and periorbital flashes which are 
more pronounced than in melanocephalus. 
Detailed description 

(a) Measurements. Table 1 shows that relictus, in comparison with melano- 
cephalus, is longer in wing, tail and tarsus; its bill is marginally longer and 
marginally deeper at the angle. Its wing and tail dimensions overlap those 
of brunnicephalus. 

(b) Plumage and bare parts 

Adult. Head, region at base of bill and forehead chocolate brown, 
becoming increasingly black posteriorly; crown, hind neck, sides of head 
and throat dull sooty black. The hood extends to the nape and is especially 
extensive down the throat. There is a pair of white periorbital flashes, one 
above and one below the eye, spreading backwards, larger than in melano- 
cephalus and similar to those in ichthyaetus. Nape, underparts, underwing and 
tail white. Mantle, rump and upperwing coverts pearl-grey. Remiges appear 
white, though apparently inner primaries and outer secondaries are pale 
grey (Stubbe & Bolod 1971). Primaries 2-7 are marked with black distally, 
the extent varying individually (see Auezov 1971). All tips are white. The 
tiny first primary is white. Bill and legs are venous-blood red. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

Table 1 Some measurements (mm and g) ofLarus relictus and other Asiatic Larus hooded gulls. 







of bill 
at base 

of bill 
at angle 









11. 3 



Lonnberg 1931b 







11. 5 



Stubbe & Bolod 


50" a 








Auezov 1 97 1 










Auezov 1 971 











Vaurie 1962 





5o-5 5 





Auezov 1 97 1 



291-31 1 







Dwight 1925 




1 1 3-1 20 



10— II 


10-11. 5 


Dwight 1925 











Vaurie 1962 


5 c? 3 




5 o- 5 8t 




Auezov 1 97 1 


13c? a 







11— 12 


Dwight 1925 









10— 11 


Dwight 1925 


9c? a 





18-21. 5 



Dwight 1925 










Dwight 1925 










Dwight 1925 










Dwight 1925 


9c? a 






9-1 1 


Dwight 1925 




101— 107 






Dwight 1925 

Averages in parentheses. 
* Wing flattened in this case, otherwise not known. 
^Measured from skull in this case, otherwise from feathers. 

Immature. So far as I know this plumage is undescribed. 

Juvenile. (From Auezov 1971.) Head largely white. Nape, mantle and 
upperwing coverts reddish (borovata)-bxown with white fringes. Uppertail 
coverts, underparts and underwing coverts white. Remiges - the black on 
the primaries is far more extensive than in the adult: 2nd* and 3rd primaries 
black, sometimes with a white mark on inner web of 2nd; on the inner webs 
of the succeeding primaries the white gradually becomes more extensive, 
approaching to within 50mm of the tip on 4th, and within 40mm on 5 th; 
on 6th the outer web is white for 70mm from the base and there is a sub- 
terminal black band 30mm wide on the inner web; 7th and 8th are white 
with a black subterminal band 20 and 13mm respectively from the tip; 9th, 

* I have increased all Auezov's numbers by one to take account of the tiny first primary, 
which he evidently ignored. 

i8 3 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

10th and nth primaries and secondaries are white; the tips of all primaries 
are white. Tail - the outer 2 tail feathers are all white, the others each bearing 
one black-brown spot 10- 12mm from the tip, together forming a sub- 
terminal band. Bill black, lightening somewhat towards the base. Legs and 
feet dark grey. 

Nestling. (From Auezov 1971.) The downy nestlings of relictus are pure 
white, resembling those of ichthyaetus so closely that they are separable only 
by size, whereas those of melanocephalus are speckled brown, buff and grey 
(Witherby et al. 1938-41). Bill black, legs and feet dark grey. At 10-12 days 
old reddish-brown feathers with white borders begin to grow on the nape 
and shoulders. The weight of a nestling 1-2 days old was 59g, and of one on 
23 June 1969 was 299g (Auezov 1971). 

Egg. Light olive colour with blackish or dark brown spots. Of 20 
measured the average dimensions were 59.8 x 42.1mm (57.0-62.0 x 41.5- 
44.0) (Auezov 1971), whereas the average of 100 melanocephalus eggs was 
53.73 x 38.1 imm (47.8-61.9 x 34.9-42.0) (Witherby et al. 1938-41). The usual 
clutch size is 3, but varies from 1 to 4 (Kovshar 1974). 

Voice. I found relictus to be clamorous in flight, frequently uttering a 
far-carrying laughing 'ka-ka, ka-ka, kee-aa' recalling ichthyaetus. (See also 
Zubakin et al. 1979, Boswall & Dickson in press). 

Food. Fish, Crustacea and insects are given by Zhuravlev (1975). 

Habitat. Orok Nor is a slightly saline lake set in the arid-steppe zone of 
Mongolia. Its shores are shallow with some mud, sand and fine shingle. In 
April Relict Gulls in pairs scouted the shores. They often sat on the water and 
stood on the shore, normally isolated, but sometimes on the edge of a 
ridibundus flock. 

Alakul is also saline. Sredni island rises in terraces to 65m above sea level 
(Auezov 1 971) and supports, besides relictus, large breeding colonies of 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne tschegrava, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Herring Gull L. argentatus and Great Black- 
headed Gull L. ichthyaetus. These are the same members of the family 
Laridae, besides ridibundus, present with relictus at Orok Nor. At the Torey 
lakes too, relictus breeds alongside argentatus and H. tschegrava (Larionov & 
Cheltsov-Bebutov 1972). 

At Alakul, relictus usually nests on islets just above the normal water level 
at the edge of Sredni island, where the nests are prone to flooding during 
storms. Between 1969 and 1974 the number of breeding pairs fluctuated 
between none (1973) and 120 (1972), the poorest years generally being those 
when flooding of the nest sites occurred (Kovshar 1974, Auezov 1975, 
Zhuravlev 1975). Likewise, the Torey lakes population is susceptible to 
rising water levels (Potapov, in Borodin et al. 1978). Such vulnerability has 
led to the inclusion of relictus in the USSR Red Data Book (Borodin et al. 


L. relictus is an Asiatic hooded gull generally resembling melanocephalus of Europe. It dif- 
fers, however, in (a) being bigger in every respect : it has a longer wing, longer tail, longer 
tarsus and slightly more massive bill. The adult differs in having (b) primaries marked with 
black distally, (c) a more extensive hood, which is chocolate brown, not black, anteriorly, 
and (d) the periorbital flashes more prominent. The juvenile differs in having (e) white 

[Bull.B.O.C ipSo: 100(3)] 184 

secondaries and (f) completely white outer tail feathers. The nestling differs (g) in being 
wholly white. The wing pattern of the adult and the white nestling are features in com- 
mon with ichthyaetus. 

Acknowledgements. The British Council and the British Embassy in Ulan Bator made my 
visits to Mongolia possible. Tim Inskipp unearthed esoteric references. He, Peter Grant and 
Dr. P. Devillers made valuable comments and criticism to earlier drafts. Jeffery Boswall lent 
me a sound recording of relict us. Tim Parmenter processed the photographs. Preparation 
of this paper would have been impossible without the help of translators. In this context 
T thank Mrs. Diane Willis (German), Mr. Angus Roxburgh and Mrs. S. Knuf ken (Russian), 
John Fry and Patrick Lo (Chinese). 


Alexander, W. B. 195 5 .Birds of the Ocean (2nd ed.). Putnam: New York. 

Auezov, E. M. 1970. [Discovery of a colony of Relict Gull Larus relictus.\J. Kazakh. Acad. 
Sci. Alma-Ata. No. 1 (297) 159. (Russian). 

— 1 97 1. [Taxonomic evaluation and systematic status of Larus relictus.] Zool. J. Acad. 
Sci. Moscow 50 : 23 5-242. (Russian). 

— 1974. [North Vietnam — a new place for finding L. relictus.] Zool. J. Acad. Sci. Mos- 
cow 5 3 : (1) : 139. (Russian). 

— 1975 . [Larus relictus at lake Alakul.] In [Colonies of water birds and their protection}. Mos- 
cow. (Russian). 

Borodin, A. M. et al. 1978. [USSR Red Data Book.] Lesnaya Promyshlennost. Moscow. 

Boswall, J. & Dickson, W. Additions to a Discography of Soviet Wildlife Sound. Rec. 

Sound. (In press). 
Cheng Tso-hsin. 1976. [Distributional list of Chinese birds] (2nd ed.). Peking. (Chinese). 
Dementyev, G. P. 195 1. In G. P. Dementyev & N. A. Gladkov (eds) Birds of the Soviet 

Union. Israel Program for Sci. Translations : Jerusalem (1969). 
Dwight, J. 1925 . The gulls Laridae of the world. JW/. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 5 2 : 63-401. 
Isenmann, P. 1 977. A propos de Larus relictus. Alauda 45 : 2-3 . 
Kitson, A. R. 1978. Notes on the waterfowl of Mongolia. Wildfowl 29: 23-30. 
Kovshar, A. F. 1974. Larus relictus. In [Birds of Kazakhstan] 5. Alama-Ata (1974): 407-411. 

Kozlova, E. V. 1932, 1933. The birds of southwest Transbaikalia, northern Mongolia and 

central Gobi. Ibis Ser. 13(2): 316-348,405-438, 576-596; Ser. 13(3): 59-87, 301-332. 
Larionov, V. F. & Cheltsov-Bebutov, A. M. 1972. [Discovery of L. relictus on the Torey 

lakes, Transbaikalia.] Ornithologiya 10: 277-279. (Russian). 
Leontyev, A. N. 1968. [The nesting colony of gulls and cormorants on the Torey lakes.] 

News of the Transbaikalia Geog. Soc. USSR 4:6. (Russian). 
Lonnberg, E. 1931a. A contribution to the bird fauna of Southern Gobi. Arkiv for Zool. 

23A(i2): 1-18. 

— 1931b. A remarkable gull from the Gobi Desert. Arkiv for Zool. 236(2): 1-5. 
Mayaud, N. 1956. Nouvelles donnees sur Larus melanocephalus Temminck. Alauda 24: 

Piechocki, R. 1968. Beitrage zur Avifauna der Mongolei. Teil 1. Non-Passeriformes. Mitt. 

Zool. Mus. Berlin 44 : 149-292. 
Stubbe, M. & Bolod, A. 1971. Mowen und Seeschwalben (Laridae, Aves) der Mongolei 

Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 47 : 51-62. 
Tuck, G. S. 1978. A Field Guide to the Seabirds of Britain and the World. Collins : London. 
Vaurie, C. 1962. The status of Larus relictus and of other hooded gulls from central Asia. 

Auk 79: 303-309. 
Voous, K. H. i960. Atlas oj European Birds. Nelson: London. 

— 1973. List of recent holarctic bird species — non-passerines. Ibis 115 : 612-638. 
Witherby, H. F., Jourdain, F. C. R., Ticehurst, N. F., Tucker, B. W. 1938-41. The Hand- 
book of British Birds. Witherby : London. 

Zhuravlev, M. N. 1975. Observations of Larus relictus. In [Colonies of water birds and their 

protection]. Moscow. (Russian). 
Zubakin, V., Ilinsky, I., Nikolsky, I. D., Pukinsky, Y. & Syoma, A. 1979. [Voices of Rare 

Animals and Birds] (Russian). 25cm 33 1/3 rpm, 33M71-41505/6. Melodia. 

Address. A. R. Kitson, 12 Hillside Terrace, Steyning, Sussex. 
© British Ornithologists' Club. 


[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 






Fig. 1. (i) Left to tight: Lams relictus, ridibundus (3), ichtyaetus (2), at Orok Nor, Mongolia, 
28 April 1977. 

(ii) (iii) Adult relictus in flight, Orok Nor, Mongolia, 28 April 1977. 
Photographs by Alan Kit son 

[Bull.B.O.C. 19X0:100(5)] 



$ Holotype oiBrachypteryx flaviventris Salvador i (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "G.Doria" 
Genoa, Italy); C.E. 26739; Sumatra, Mt. Singgalan, Bella Vista, 23rd July 1878, coll. 
O. Beccari. 


Detail of the head. 

1 87 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(3)] 

"What is Brachypteryx flaviventris Salvadori?" 

by Carlo Violani 

Received 7 March 19 80 

Among the new birds collected by Odoardo Beccari in western Sumatra in 
1878, Tommaso Salvadori briefly described Brachypteryx flaviventris from a 
unique $ specimen shot on Mt. Singgalan (Salvadori 1879: 226). Charac- 
teristics of this new species were given, as usual, in Latin: 

"Supra brunnea; subtus flavescens, abdomine laetiore, later ibus et tibiis brunneis; 

fascia super ciliari obsoleta flavescente; loris fuscis; rostro et pedibus fuscis." (In 

Sharpe's (1883) translation: "Above brown; below yellowish, the abdomen 

brighter; the sides of body and flanks brown; an obsolete superciliary 

streak of yellowish; lores dusky; bill and feet dusky.") 
These were followed by measurements and by a brief statement, which, 
translated, reads : 

"Not unlikely this species is Brachypteryx leptura Kuhl, mentioned by 

Miiller, Tijdschr. Nat. Gesch. en Phys. II, p. 330, 333, which I do not find 


A few years later, dealing with the genus Brachypteryx in Volume 7 of 
Cat. Birds Brit. Mus. (1883: 25), R. B. Sharpe was unable to determine the 
systematic position of this form on the basis of Salvadori's description alone; 
neither was Chasen in 1935 (p. 232), who wondered in a footnote: "What is 
Brachypteryx flaviventris Salvadori, based on a single female from Mt. Singa- 
lang, Padang Highlands, Sumatra?". 

The final answer to such a question could only come from actual re- 
examination of the holotype which is still preserved as a mounted specimen 
in the collections at the Genoa Museum of Natural History. It is a $, 
obtained and sexed by O. Beccari on Mt. Singgalan, Bella Vista, W. Sumatra, 
on 23 July 1878; MSNG C.E. 26739, Beccari's No. 203. 

Measurements of Holotype (in mm. Salvadori's figures in brackets) 

As usual, newly taken measurements differ slightly from those originally 

Total length: — (118); bill: half of the upper mandible is missing, a fact 
which was not stated by Salvadori; the lower mandible, intact, measures 
16 mm, from tip to gape. Salvadori's measurement was 10 mm for the pre- 
sumably intact bill; wing: 52 (50); tail: 49 (50); tarsus: 27 (25). 

The identification of this bird being necessary for the preparation of the 
list of the Bird Types at Genoa Museum by Arbocco, Capocaccia & Violani 
(1979), the specimen was taken to Ley den Museum, where it was very kindly 
examined by Dr. G. F. Mees on 3 September 1979. As a start it was com- 
pared with all the possible likely material from Sumatra belonging to the 
genera Prinia, Brachypteryx and Cettia. 

Prinia was at once rejected, on account of its totally different, slender body 
shape, general proportions and colouring. Brachypteryx was discarded as 
well ; the rectrices of the Genoa holotype, though belonging very likely to an 
immature bird, were too long for a true, even adult Brachypteryx, which, in 
any case, besides the shorter tail, are larger in size as well as different in colour 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] l88 

Comparison with Cettia from Sumatra was most rewarding ; the following 
3 skin specimens of Cettia montana sumatrana O.-Grant were examined in 
comparison with the Genoa holotype : — 

(1) adult specimen, unsexed, Gunung Talaman, N. W. helling, 2600 m, 
Ophir Distrikten, Sumatra; collected by E. Jacobson, 5. vi. 1917; 

No. 1057. 

(2) adult o*, Gunung Talaman, N. W. helling, 2200 m, Ophir Distrikten, 
Sumatra; collected by E. Jacobson, 15. vi. 191 7; No. 1103. 

(3) adult o\ Dempu (Pasemah), 2200 m, Palembang, Sumatra; coll. by E. 
Jacobson, 2 5 . viii. 1 9 1 6 ; No. 718. 

Except for its yellowish ventral hue, B. flaviventris agrees perfectly with these 
3 individuals ; besides the similar proportions of the body, feet and tail, the 
Genoa bird shares the same superciliary streak, the brown upperparts and the 
whitish lower mandible tipped with dark horn. 

Cettia montana sumatrana was described in 191 6 from a q* and a $ specimen 
collected by H. C. Robinson and C. B. Kloss at Korinchi Peak, 7000-11,000 
feet, Sumatra, in 19 14, and now preserved at Tring. In the original paper, 
an immature ? (undated, but same locality and collectors) was also men- 
tioned, whose underparts, middle of breast and throat were said to be of a 
"yellowish white" colour (O.-Grant, 191 6: 67). This specimen (B. Mus. 
1920.6.29.465) was very kindly checked in 1979 by Derek Goodwin in 
Tring, at my request, and it has in reality "the throat yellowish rather than 
white and the central part of the belly lemon yellow", the very hue by which 
one would describe the Genoa bird. 

Many juveniles oiCisticola and Cettia show an abdominal yellowish colour, 
which, in the case of Cettia montana sumatrana, changes into a whitish tinge 
in the adult plumage. C. W. & F. M. Benson have kindly examined (1980) 
material in the British Museum at my request and wrote to me: "In Acro- 
cephalus, however, of the 28 species listed by Morony, Bock & Farrand (1975 : 
103-104), disregarding those confined to remote islands in the Pacific, the 
normal colour is usually buffy, and the only one showing yellow on the 
underparts was A. orienta/is". 

Hence, it appears that Brachypteryx flaviventris Salvadori is in reality an 
immature $ of the taxon subsequently described in 191 6 under the name of 
Cettia montana sumatrana O.-Grant, but which, according to the priority law 
of nomenclature, should now be called Cettia montana flaviventris (Salvadori). 

Acknowledgements: I am greatly obliged to Dr. G. F. Mees (Leyden Museum) for having 
so kindly examined and identified the specimen, and for revising the draft of my paper ; to 
Derek Goodwin, for providing the data concerning Cettia in the Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. ; 
to C. W. & F. M. Benson for their constant help and guidance, and for kindly checking 
the Acrocephalus material in Brit. Mus. Particular thanks are due to Drs. G. Arbocco and 
L. Capocaccia of the Scientific Staff of Genoa Museum of Natural History for the loan of 
the unique Salvadori holotype. 


Arbocco, G., Capocaccia, L. & Violani, C. 1979. Catalogo dei Tipi di Uccelli del Museo 

Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova. Ann. Mus. civ. St. Nat. Genova, 82: 184-265. 
Chasen, F. N. 1935. A Handlist of Malaysian Birds. Bull. Raffles Museum, 11, Singapore. 
Morony, J. J., Bock, W. J. & Farrand, J. 1975. Reference list of the birds of the world. 

Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., New York. 
Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. 1916. New Warbler from Sumatra. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI., 36: 66-67. 

189 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

Salvadori, T. 1879. Catalogo di una collezione di uccelli fatta della parte occidentale di 
Sumatra dal Prof. Odoardo Beccari. Ann. Mus. civ. St. Nat. Genova, 14: 169-253. 

Sharpe, R. B. 1883. Catalogue of the Passeriformes or Perching Birds in the Collection of 
the British Museum. Vol. 7: Cichlomorphae : Part IV. Containing the concluding 
portion of the Family Timeliidae. London. 

Address: Dr. Carlo Violani, Istituto di Ecologia Animale ed Etologia, Universita, Pavia 
27100, Italy. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

The avifauna of Sulawesi, Indonesia: 
faunistic notes and additions 

by C. J. Escott and D. A. Holmes 

Received 30 October 1979 

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi (Celebes) has an avifauna of c. 3 28 species 
including c.74 endemics. The high number of endemics is a result of Sula- 
wesi's long isolation and unique position along Wallace's line separating the 
Sunda and Sahul faunas. It is therefore not surprising that early workers often 
concentrated on its resident and forest birds. It appears that several quite 
common migratory birds have been overlooked in the past. 

Few of the following species that we have added to the avifauna in the past 
3 years are likely to be genuine new arrivals on the island. Over half these 
additional species are regular or at least occasional winter visitors to Australia 
that might reasonably be expected to occur on passage in Sulawesi and 
Wallacea generally (White 1975, 1976, 1977). One of the species reached 
Sulawesi as a result of an irruption, and 2 may have been introduced by Man. 
Probably only 3 are natural additions to the resident avifauna: Ibis cinereus, 

Apus affinis and Cypsiurus balasiensis. 

The second part of this paper updates the range of several resident species 
that were known to Stresemann (1939-41) only from restricted parts of the 

A number of records have been taken from the field notes of Dr. J. 
MacKinnon (J.M.) who was stationed in North Sulawesi with the Directorate 
of Nature Conservation of the Government of Indonesia. The authors are very 
grateful for Dr. MacKinnon's contribution and his assistance in reading a 
first draft of this report. 

Pelecanus conspicillatus 

The irruption of Australian Pelicans into Indonesia during the southern 
winter of 1978 has already been reported (Somardikarta & Holmes 1979). 
The main concentrations reported in Sulawesi consisted of 5 o or more birds 
between Polewali (119 20' E, 3 25 ' S) and Majene and of over 100 in the 
Luwuk area (123 E, i° S). DAH saw 4 near Palu (119 50' E, o° 50' S) in 
September and one on the Lariang (ii9°2o'E, i°25'S)in October, all of these 
being remnants of the flocks of 10-15 birds that had arrived 3 months pre- 
viously. One was reported from Tanjong Panjang (121 50' E, o° 30' N) in 
North Sulawesi as late as 1 5 December 1978 (JM). 

Ibis cinereus 

Five Milky Storks near Maros, just north of Ujung Pandang (119 30' E, 
5 10' S) on 10 June 1977 (CJE) were the first to be reported in Sulawesi. 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(3)] 19° 

Subsequently parties of 1-8 were seen on several occasions near Polewali, 
Ujung Pandangand Jeneponto(ii9°45 ' E, 5°4o' S)in March and September 
1978 and January 1979 (CJE, DAH). In S.E. Sulawesi they have been reported 
at Kolumbi in Roraya district (c.112 E, 4°S) on 6 August 1978 (Pranowo, 
pers. comm.), and in N. Sulawesi a party of c.15 birds was seen at Tanjong 
Panjang on 5-10 December 1978 (JM). Hitherto the Milky Stork was known 
in Indonesia only from Java and Sumatra and the origin of the small but 
apparently resident population in Sulawesi is not known. 

Por^ana paykullii 

A single Band-bellied Crake was seen near Ujung Pandang on 7 April 1979 
(CJE). Identification was confirmed at m by the chestnut forehead, 
brown crown and nape, red legs and greenish-grey bill. It was considerably 
larger than a P.fusca seen shortly afterwards; the red legs distinguish it from 
Rallina euri^onoides and the combination of chestnut forehead sharply 
demarcated from the brown crown and nape from R.fasciata. 

The known wintering range of this crake includes the Malayan peninsula, 
Sumatra, Java and Borneo, as well as one record from Basilan Island in the 
southern Philippines (Delacour & Mayr 1946), so the present record repre- 
sents only a slight extension of range. 

Pluvialis squatarola 

First recorded at Sigeri (1 19 3 5 ' E, 4 40 ' S) on 23 February 1977, the Grey 
Plover has subsequently been seen elsewhere along the west coast of South 
Sulawesi on several occasions between 13 January and 1 April (CJE) and 2 
were seen at Palu on 24 September 1978 (DAH). It appears to be a regular 
winter visitor. 

Limosa limosa 

A flock of c.6o Black- tailed Godwits was seen near Ujung Pandang on 
1 1 March 1978 (CJE). It is probably a rare visitor to Sulawesi. 

Tringa stagnatilis 

First sighted near Sigeri on 18 September 1976, the Marsh Sandpiper has 
since been found to be very common along the west coast of South Sulawesi 
between 18 September and 1 April (CJE). Several were also seen at Palu on 
24 September 1978 (DAH). 

Calidris canutus 

A flock of 25 Red Knots was seen near Sigeri on 23 February 1977 (CJE). 
Identification was assisted by some rufous mottling on the underparts. 

Calidris tenuirostris 

13 Great Knots were seen near Ujung Pandang on 13 November 1977 
(CJE) and another 3 were present at the mouth of the Morowali River in 
Central Sulawesi (1 2 1° 35 ' E, i° 55 ' S) on 23 January 1979 (DAH). 

Calidris ferruginea 

One Curlew Sandpiper was seen near Ujung Pandang on 12 September 
1976 and since then they have been seen regularly along the west coast of 
South Sulawesi up to 22 March, occasionally in flocks of up to 200 (CJE). One 
was seen at Palu on 24 September 1978 (DAH). 
Crocethia alba 

The first Sanderling record was of 2 on the beach near Ujung Pandang on 
4 September 1976, and in subsequent years parties of up to 10 were seen 

i9i [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

there regularly until 1 April (CJE). Larger numbers were present at Palu on 
1 8 October 1 978 (D AH). 

Phiiomachus pugnax 

One Ruff, believed to be male, was present near Ujung Pandang on 3 
December 1978 and again on 16 February 1979, and 12 were seen near Pole- 
wali on 16 March 1979 (CJE). The diagnostic white oval patches on the sides 
of the upper tail coverts were seen clearly. 

Gelochelidon nilotka 

Two Gull-billed Terns were seen on 1 February 1978 near Jeneponto 
(CJE) and subsequently small numbers were seen occasionally at several 
locations between Ujung Pandang and Bulukumba (1 20 20 ' E, 5 ° 30 ' S) from 
22 October until 28 April (CJE, DAH). 

Streptopelia tranquebarka 

On his first arrival in Palu on 18 September 1978 DAH heard the familiar 
call of the Red Turtle Dove, and he later confirmed this record by sightings. 
It was found to be a common and presumably resident bird in the Palu 
valley and was also heard on the opposite coast at Torue (1 20 20 ' E, 1 ° 00 ' S). 
This species could have arrived unaided from its nearest known range 
in Luzon and Mindoro in the Philippines but it is more likely to have been 
introduced, and the lack of records from North Sulawesi (JM, CJE) would 
support this. 

Hirundapus caudacutus 

A party of probable White-throated Needletails was seen at Poso airport 
(120 40' E, i° 25 ' S) on 17 October 1978 (DAH). A second group of 
was seen flying southeast near Bulukumba on 22 October 1978 (CJE, DAH) 
and a single bird was seen near Malino (east of Ujung Pandang) on 1 April 
1979 (CJE). 

The white throat and vent were clearly seen, particularly in the second 
group, and this would appear to confirm the identification (King et ai. 1975), 
but Mees (1973) shows that some specimens of H. cochinchinensis from Java 
are pale with distinctly white throats, so that identification from sight 
records may not be conclusive. However, whereas H. cochinchinensis is a 
winter visitor south to Malaya, Java and Sumatra only, H. caudacutus is a 
passage migrant through S.E. Asia to Australia and has been recorded from 
Borneo (Smythies i960), and in the Lesser Sunda Islands (White 1976). 
Furthermore, Stresemann (1939-41) considered that this species probably 
occured over Sulawesi as a passage migrant. 

Apus pacificus 

Several Fork-tailed Swifts were seen near Takalar, south of Ujung 
Pandang, on 21 October 1978 (CJE, DAH) and identified from flight 
silhouette by DAH who knows this species from elsewhere in S.E. Asia. It 
has also been reported from Tangkoko Batuangus in N. Sulawesi (1 25 ° 20 ' E, 
i° 3 5 ' N) at the end of August or early September 1977 (JM). 

Stresemann included this migrant species in his nominal list (1936), 
possibly on the basis of the specimen listed by White (1976) from the Sangir 
Islands, but omitted it from his general work on mainland birds (1939-41). 
White also reported specimens from Flores and Halmahera. 

{Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 192 

Apus affinis 

The House Swift is resident in Ujung Pandang in moderate numbers 
and a nest site was visited on 22 October 1978 (CJE, DAH) under second 
storey eaves in a busy central shopping street. Another population was 
found in a town 40 km north of Sigeri. 

The known range of this Afro-Asian species extends as far as the northern 
Philippines and Greater Sundas, and the colonization of Ujung Pandang is 
probably part of a continuing range expansion and population explosion 
that has occurred since the species adopted man-made structures as nesting 
sites (Medway & Wells 1976). It may not be new to Ujung Pandang as White 
(1976) quotes 2 swifts seen on 1 September by Maurenbrechter (1948) which 
were assumed to be this species, although the identification was doubted by 
Coomans de Ruiter(i948). 

Cypsiurus balasiensis 

The Palm Swift was first positively identified by sight on 21 October 1978 
(DAH) at several places between Ujung Pandang and Balukumba, in open 
country usually near Fan-leaf Palms Borrassus flabellifera, known locally as 
"pohon lontar". Identification was confirmed on 23 May 1979 when CJE 
found 2 nests, and possibly more, in a grove of these palms 2 km south of 
Jeneponto. The nests were 2 m and 4 m above the ground, lodged in the 
curled undersides of palm fronds, and one contained one or probably 2 
fledgelings ; the second was empty. 

The Palm Swift occurs widely in the Greater Sundas and Philippines 
but this appears to be the first record from Wallacea. 

Pycnonotus goiavier 

Small groups of Yellow-vented Bulbuls are often seen in and around 
Ujung Pandang (first recorded 29 May 1977, (CJE) and, like P. aurigaster, 
have presumably originated from introduced stock. 

Turdus obscurus 

A flock of c.i 5 Eye-browed Thrushes was reported from Tangkoko 
Batuangus in the far north of Sulawesi on 8 April 1978 (JM). This record is a 
slight extension of its known wintering range in the Philippines and Greater 

In addition to the above species there are several unconfirmed sight 
records of the following which would also be additions to the avifauna of 
Charadrius alexandrinus: one, Ujung Pandang, 4 September 1976 (CJE); one, 

Palu, 24 September 1978 (DAH). 
Gallinago stenura: several, Ujung Pandang, 7 April 1979 (CJE). 
Calidris alpina: one, Ujung Pandang, 18 September 1976 (CJE); several, 

Palu, 18 October 1978 (DAH). 
Glareola maldivarum: small flocks, Pangkajene (north of Ujung Pandang), 

16 November 1977, and Jeneponto, 10 October 1978 (CJE). 
Delichondasypus: one, Palu, 1 1 October 1978 (DAH). 

The following mainly resident species show an extension of their pre- 
viously known range as recorded by Stresemann (1939-41); Stresemann's 

193 [Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

described range is shown in brackets against each species, but his terms are 
geographical and do not match Sulawesi's 4 administrative provinces : 

Phalacrocorax sulcirostris\ (North, 2 records). The Little Black Cormorant 
is quite common near Bulukumba in South Sulawesi, first recorded there on 
10 April 1 978 (CJE). 

'Phalacrocorax melanokucos: (North). The Little Pied Cormorant is common 
near Bulukumba (first record 10 April 1978) and Polewali in South Sulawesi 
(CJE) and a single bird was seen near Palu in Central Sulawesi in September 
1 978 (D AH). 

Egretta sacra: (North, and island of Muna) Small numbers of Reef Egrets 
have been seen at several localities in Central and South Sulawesi (CJE, 

Egretta alba: (North, and island of Muna). The Great Egret has also been 
seen at several localities in Central and South Sulawesi (CJE, DAH). 

Ciconia episcopus: (North, Central, South-east, and island of Muna). The 
White-necked Stork is seen regularly in South Sulawesi (CJE). 

Icthyophaga nana: (north-Central, South). The Lesser Fishing Eagle is 
present at Dumoga (1 24 o ' E, o° 40 ' N) in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Butastur liventer: (Central, South). The Rufous- winged Buzzard also is 
present at Dumoga in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Gallinula chloropus: (Central, South). The Common Moorhen has been 
reported from several areas throughout North Sulawesi (JM). 

Esacus magnirostris: (small off-shore islands). Stresemann (1936) listed the 
Reef Thick-knee as resident on small coastal islands, and omitted it from his 
general work on mainland birds (1939-41). It has now been seen on mainland 
beaches near Ujung Pandang in south Sulawesi (CJE) and west of Gorontalo 
(123 io'E, o° 50' N) in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Geopelia striata: (south-Central, South). The introduced Peaceful Dove has 
been recorded at Gorontalo in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Tanygnathus megalorhynchus: (small off-shore islands). The Great-billed 
Parrot was also listed by Stresemann (1936) but omitted from his main work 
(1939-41). CJE saw one bird at Mahavu Crater near Menado (124 45 ' E, 
1 ° 30' N) in North Sulawesi, and a small flock near Amurang, west of Menado, 
both in late June 1 979. 

Cacomantis merulinus: (Central, South, South-east). The Plaintive Cuckoo 
has been seen at Tangkoko Batuangus in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Collacalia vanikorensis: (Central, South, South-east). Large numbers of 
Uniform Swiftlets were seen flying over Menado in North Sulawesi early on 
26 June 1 979 (CJE). 

Halcyon sancta: (South). The Sacred Kingfisher, a migrant, has been recorded 
at Palu in Central Sulawesi in September 1978 (DAH) and at Tangkoko 
Batuangus in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Merops ornatus: (South). The migratory Rainbow Bee-eater has also been 
seen at Tangkoko Batuangus as well as other sites in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Ealage sueurii: (southern part of South). Sueur's Triller is now common in 
and around Palu town (DAH, and R. Watling) and probably in other loca- 
tions in Central Sulawesi. It appears to be extending its range northwards, 
possibly in competition with L. (nigra) leucopygialis, but it has so far not been 
recorded in North Sulawesi (JM). 

[Bul/.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(3)] 194 

Cisticolajuncidis: (Central, South). The Zitting Cisticola has been seen west 
of Gorontalo in North Sulawesi (JM). 

Rhipidura teijsmanni: (western North, Central, South, South-east). The 
record from Ambang (124 25' E, o° 45' N) in North Sulawesi (JM) confirms 
that the endemic Celebes Fantail occurs in all parts of Sulawesi. 

Anthus novaeseelandiae: (South). Richard's Pipit is reportedly widespread in 
North Sulawesi (JM). 

Passer montanus: (Ujung Pandang in South). The spread of the introduced 
Tree Sparrow around Sulawesi is to be expected and it is now known from 
Menado in North Sulawesi (CJE) and Donggala, the port of Palu, in Central 
Sulawesi (DAH). 

Lonchura punctulata: (Central, South). The Spotted Munia is reported to be 
widespread in North Sulawesi (JM). 

References : 

Coomans de Ruiter, L. & Maurenbrecher, L. L. A. 1948. Stadsvogels van Makassar (Zuid- 

Celebes). Ardea 36: 163-198. 
Coomans de Ruiter, L. 195 1. Vogels van het dal de Bodjo-rivier (Zuid-Celebes). Ardea 39: 

Delacour, J. & Mayr, E. 1946. Birds oj "Philippines. Macmillan: New York. 
King, Ben., Woodcock, M. & Dickinson, E. C. 1975. A Field Guide to the Birds of South- 
east Asia. Collins : London. 
Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1976. The Birds oj 'the Malay Peninsula. Volume V: Conclusion, 

and survey of every species. Witherby : London. 
Mees, G. F. 1973. The Status of two species of migrant swifts in Java and Sumatra (Aves, 

Apodidae). Zool. Meded. 46 : 197-207. 
Smythies, B. E. i960. The Birds oj "Borneo. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh and London. 
Stresemann, E. 1936. A nominal list of the birds of Celebes. Ibis 78(2) : 356-369. 
Stresemann, E. 1939-41. Die vogel von Celebes./. Orn. 87(3): 299-425 ; 88(1): 1-135 ; 88(3): 

389-487; 89(1): 1-102. 
White, C. M. N. 1975. Migration of Palearctic Waders in Wallacea. ZJ^w 7 5 : 37-39. 
White, C. M. N. 1976. Migration of Palearctic non-passerine birds in Wallacea. Emu 76: 

White, C. M. N. 1977. Migration of Palearctic passerine birds in Wallacea. Emu 77 : 37-38. 

Address: C. J. Escott, 33 11 Ortona Street, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7M 3R7, Canada. 
D. A. Holmes, Hunting Technical Services Ltd., Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Herts, 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis new to Mexico 

by J. S. Ash and G. E. Watson 

Received 26 November iyjp 

One of us (J.S.A.) found an entire, recently dead, shearwater, on the tide- 
line at Tulum (20 13 ' N, 87 28 ' W), on the east coast of Yucatan, Mexico, 
on 25 July 1978. As it was thought to be a Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis, 
a species previously unrecorded from Mexico, its head and a wing and leg 
were sent to the Smithsonian Institution. Examination by G.E.W. confirmed 
its identification on the basis of underwing pattern, bill size and colour, and 
the foot's proportions and colour. 

195 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

The specimen (USNM 571206) consists of a skull, including the bill sheath 
and some skin and feathering together with 4 cervical vertebrae, a fully feath- 
ered left wing with the humerus broken just below the head, and a right foot 
with the lower end of the tibio-tarsus. The bill is entirely dark grey, the foot 
is creamy white with some dusky markings on the outer sides of the tar- 
sus and toes. Although the outer two primaries are slightly beach worn, the 
other primaries are very fresh, indicating a bird of the year. All the measure- 
ments are small, suggesting a female (wing 3 1 1 . 5 , exposed culmen 44, cul- 
men from skull 54, skull length with bill sheath 96, skull width 31.5, tarsus 
57.7, middle toe 63.2 mm). 

In May the northward migration of juvenile Great Shearwaters begins 
from the breeding ground in the Tristan da Cunha group of islands in the 
middle of the south Atlantic Ocean (Voous & Wattel 1963). In the Atlan- 
tic, birds generally follow a westerly route northward around the horn of 
Brazil (Metcalf 1966) and cross the tropics rapidly, passing offshore along the 
coasts of the Guyanas (Mees 1976), Trinidad (Collins & Tikasingh 1974) and 
outer Lesser Antilles (Gibson, unpublished observations May and June 1965) 
on their way to winter quarters off the east coast of the United States and 
southern Canada. There are only 3 reliable records for the Caribbean (Gibson 
in Bond 1966, Phelps 1972) and few for the northern Gulf of Mexico. The 
latter, which extend west to Galveston, Texas, are summarized by Imhof 
(1977), supplemented by Arnold (1975) and Buhrman & Hopkins (1978). 
Many of these are autumn or winter records rather than northward migrants 
in May or June. 

Many of the distributional records of this species are based on beach kills 
(Watson 1970, Mees 1976), as in this case, which is the first record of a Great 
Shearwater from anywhere in Mexico. It is only recently, as more observers 
have made trips offshore, that many migrants have been observed moving 
at sea. 
References : 
Arnold, K. 1975. First record of the Greater Shearwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Auk 

Bond, J. 1966. Eleventh supplement to the Check-list of Birds of the West Indies (ipj6). 

Academy of Natural Sciences : Philadelphia. 
Buhrman, C. B. & Hopkins, L. A. 1978. Eleven pelagic trips into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. 

Florida Field Naturalist 6 : 30-33. 
Collins, C. T. & Tikasingh, E. S. 1974. Status of the Great Shearwater in Trinidad, West 

Indies. Bull. Brit.Orn.Cl. 94: 96-99. 
Imhof, T. A. 1977. The Greater Shearwater in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Auk 94: 

Mees, G. F. 1976. Mass mortality oiPuffinus gravis O'Reilley on the coast of Suriname (Aves, 

Procellariidae). Zool. Med, 49 : 269-271 . 
Metcalf, W. G. 1966. Observations of migrating Great Shearwaters Puffinus gravis off the 

Brazilian coast. Ibis 108 : 138-140. 
Phelps, W. J. Jr. 1972. Adiciones a las listas de aves de Sur America, Brasil y Venezuela 

y notas sobre aves Venezolanas. Bol. Soc. Vene^. Cienc. Nat. 30 : 23-40. 
Voous, K. H. & Wattel, J. 1963. Distribution and migration of the Greater Shearwater. 

Ardea 51 : 143-157. 
Watson, G. E. 1970. A shearwater mortality on the Atlantic coast. Atlantic Nat. 25 : 75-80. 

Address: Dr. J. S. Ash and Dr. G. E. Watson, Division of Birds, National Museum of 
Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, U.S.A. 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(3)] 196 

Records of rare or previously unrecorded birds 
from Colombia 

by Michael Gochfeld, Stuart Keith , Paul Donahue 

Received ij December 1979 

During a month-long visit to Colombia, January-February 1977, M.G. 
and S.K. were impressed by the large number of birds observed for which 
there were no previously published Colombian records. These records were 
primarily of waterbirds observed incidentally while travelling from one forest 
or fauna to another, and were not the results of a planned search or survey. 
Combined with records obtained by P.D. during more extensive field work 
a clearer picture has emerged concerning the status and regularity of certain 
species. Clearly much remains to be discovered about the birds of coastal 
Colombia, and visitors interested mainly in seeing Neotropical exotics and 
Colombia endemics, are urged not to overlook the more familiar gulls and 

Most of the records reported here are from the Caribbean coast between 
Baranquilla and Santa Marta, from the harbour at Cartagena, and on the 
Pacific Coast from the harbour at Buenaventura. Very few, if any, are 
surprising, nearly all representing species already recorded from the waters 
of adjacent countries or known to be extending their ranges. 


Dichromanassa rufescens Reddish Egret 

M.G. and S.K. observed a white-phased bird feeding in mangroves near 
the town of Cienaga, 1 km west of the inlet to Cienaga Grande on 19 January. 
The species was not known from Colombia until 1974 when P.D. discovered 
it at Isla Salamanca (Donahue 1977). He observed several individuals during 
a series of visits between 30 June and 19 August and also found 4 on the 
Guajira peninsula on 7 August. Over 100 (both colour phases) were seen at 
the Manaure salt works on the Guajira Peninsula, 26-27 J une T 974 (Alexander 
Sprunt IV). The species has been recorded in Colombia in January, June, 
July and August, so it may well be resident (rather than just a casual 
wanderer), particularly on the Guajira. It has been considered a winter resi- 
dent (August-May) on the coast of Venezuela and the Netherlands Antilles 
(Meyer de Schauensee et al. 1978). Whether it has recently spread to Colombia 
from Venezuela or was simply undetected in the past, is not known. 

Stercorarius sp. Parasitic^ ?) Jaeger 

P.D. observed 2 immature jaegers in Santa Marta harbour, 3 July 1974. 
M.G. and S.K. observed an immature bird, lacking elongated central tail 
feathers, in Cartagena harbour, 21 January 1977. Young jaegers are 
notoriously difficult to identify, but the slender proportions and small size 
(the bird in Cartagena was the size of the Laughing Gulls Larus atricilla 
with which it was seen) rule out Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus. The Long- 
tailed Jaeger (S. longicaudus) is chiefly an offshore bird, so Parasitic Jaeger 
S. parasiticus is most probable. The species is not yet reported from Venezuela 
(Meyer de Schauensee et al. 1978), but E. Eisenmann has examined 3 speci- 
mens from the Pacific coast of Panama which he identified as first or second 

197 [Bul/.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

year Parasitic Jaegers, using the criteria of Walter (1962). Walter showed that 
earlier published sight records of both Parasitic and Long-tailed Jaegers 
from the Caribbean coast of Panama, based on criteria currently used for 
separating the two, both in the field and in the hand, were unreliable. 

Stercorarius pomarinus Tomarine Jaeger 

Denham (1972) reports seeing a Pomarine Jaeger in Cartagena harbour 
in February 1972. P.D. observed this species on 7 dates between 3 and 31 
July 1974 in Santa Marta harbour with a maximum of 8 on 3 July (with 2 
probable immature Parasitic Jaegers - see above), all in immature plumage. 
Meyer de Schauensee et al. (1978) consider this species common in winter 
off the Venezuelan coast (December to March, with one September occur- 
rence), but the July dates are of unusual interest. 

Larus argentatus Herring Gull 

Donahue (1977) reported an immature at Isla Salamanca, 20 January 1975. 
M.G. and S.K. observed at least 3 in the uniform mottled pale-brown second 
winter plumage, near the docks and in the harbour at Cartagena, 21 and 22 
January 1977. This species is continuing to extend its breeding range south- 
ward in North America and has recently increased during the winter in the 
West Indies (Buckley & Buckley 1970) and in Panama (Wetmore 1965), 
from where Wetmore lists 3 ringing recoveries, all of first winter birds, 
while E. Eisenmann notes that there are other sight records from both 
coasts of Panama. 

In addition we find the following records for South America: — 
a second year bird on Trinidad, 1959 (ffrench 1973); a specimen taken on 
Isla de Aves off the coast of Venezuela (Meyer de Schauensee et al. 1978); 
a sight record for Los Roques off the Venezuelan coast (Meyer de Schauensee 
et al. 1978); a first year bird seen on Trinidad, 3 October 1976 (Fisher 1978). 
In view T of these records and the 2 recent reports for the Caribbean coast of 
Colombia, we anticipate more frequent records in northern South America 
in the near future. 

Gelochelidon nilotica Gull-billed Tern 

P.D. found this species fairly common at Isla Salamanca, June-August 
1974 and in January 1975 (25-200 individuals) (see also Donahue 1974). 
M.G. and S.K. did not find it on the Caribbean coast in 1977, but saw one in 
Buenaventura harbour, 4 February. It was among Sandwich Terns Sterna 
sandvicensis, from which it was readily distinguished by shape, plumage, and 
heavy bill. Steve Hilty saw 3 there, 19 June 1975 . These are the first published 
records of the species for Colombia, although it may breed on the coast of 
Ecuador (Meyer de Schauensee 1970), has recently been seen with increasing 
frequency along the coast of Peru (Plenge 1974), and is regular on both coasts 
of Panama (Ridgely 1976). 

Sterna dougallii Koseate Tern 

P.D. observed 4-6 individuals at Isla Salamanca, 14 January 1975. M.G, 
and S.K. saw at least one and probably two in Cartagena harbour, 21 
January 1978. The birds stood out from the numerous Common Terns in 
the harbour by their pure white underparts and very pale upperparts, by 
the reduced amount of black in the primaries, and by the longer tail streamers. 
The only previous record for Colombia is of a bird banded as a chick at 

[Bull. B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 198 

Great Gull Island, New York on 8 August 1969 and recovered on Gorgona 
Island, 28 km off the Pacific coast of Colombia, 27 October 1969 (Hays 1971). 
The species winters mainly on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, off the 
Guyanas and off Trinidad (ffrench 1973). It breeds on islets off the coast 
of Venezuela (Meyer de Schauensee et al. 1978) and also in the Caribbean 
(James Bond). 

Sterna anaethetus bridled Tern 

P.D. observed 30 on 3 July 1974 and 35 on 18 July 1974 feeding around a 
large rock in the harbour at Santa Marta. M.G. and S.K. saw one in Cartagena 
harbour on 21 January. These are the first records from the Caribbean 
coast of Colombia. It is known from the Pacific coast (Meyer de Schauensee 
1964) and breeds on islands off the Venezuelan coast and on Aruba and 
Curacao (Meyer de Schauensee eta/. 1978). 

Sterna sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 

At Isla de Salamanca, P.D. saw up to 10 on 24 and 26 December 1972, 
one on 14 January and several on 20 January 1975. M.G. and S.K. observed 
2 typical Sandwich Terns in Cartagena harbour, 21 January 1977, and with 
others saw 5 in Buenaventura harbour, 4 February. A Sandwich Tern 
banded on Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, 8 June 1975, by Jay Sheppard was 
recovered alive and released near Buenaventura, 29 March 1976 (W. Brown 
and S. Hilty). The Sandwich Tern has not been recorded previously from the 
Pacific coast of Colombia, but is regular off Ecuador (Meyer de Schauensee 
1966) and off the Pacific coast of Panama (Ridgely 1976) and has been photo- 
graphed on the Atlantic coast of Panama (E. Eisenmann). There are increas- 
ing numbers of records from the Peruvian coast throughout the year and 
P.D. obtained counts of up to 100 Sandwich Terns at Paracas Bay in January. 

Sterna sandvicensis eurygnatha Cayenne Tern 

This "species" is now often treated as a subspecies of the Sandwich Tern, 
with which it apparently freely interbreeds (Ansingh et al. i960, Voous 1968), 
and M.G. has seen mixed pairs in Argentina. In the Netherlands West Indies, 
variation in bill colour is apparently continuous (Ansingh et al. i960) from 
typical Sandwich (black with yellow tip) to all yellow-orange, and it is 
probably more appropriate to consider the pure yellow-billed "Cayennes" as 
a somewhat localized colour-type rather than a subspecies. If the two extreme 
forms (Sandwich and Cayenne) are found to be more common than predicted 
on the basis of random interbreeding, it would be appropiate to consider 
these as two morphs with much interbreeding. 

M.G. and S.K. saw 2 birds with black and yellow bills intermediate 
between Cayenne and Sandwich types in Cartagena harbour, 21 January, 
in the company of 2 typical Sandwich Terns. Of greater interest was a 
nearly typical Cayenne (with only a trace of blackish on the lower mandible) 
in Buenaventura harbour, 4 February, seen with 5 typical Sandwich Terns. 
This is the first record of this variant for the Pacific coast of South America. 

Tachycineta bicolor Tree Swallow 

P.D. observed 50-100 on Isla Salamanca, 20 January 1975. M.G. and 
S.K. saw 6 there, 1 5 January 1977, and S. Hilty and P. Alden at Riohacha 
15 February 1978. Meyer de Schauensee (1964) lists only one previou 

i 9 9 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

Colombian record, from the Department of Narino, and his only other 
records for South America (1970) are from Guyana and Trinidad. M.G. saw 
flocks totalling over 100 Tree Swallows at Chichiriviche, Falcon, Venezuela, 
24 January 1974, and the species occurs there quite regularly in winter 
(Peter Alden). This constitutes the first published record for Venezuela, 
since Meyer de Schauensee et al. (1978) do not list it at all. The species is now 
known to migrate through coastal Peru (at least occasionally) and to winter 
as far south as Salta, Argentina (Gochfeld in prep.). Tree Swallows occur 
irregularly on the Caribbean coast of Panama (E. Eisenmann). 

Tachycineta sp. 

At Isla Salamanca on 15 and 19 January 1977, M.G. and S.K. found 
flocks of up to 40 swallows with blue-green backs and white rumps which 
were believed to be Mangrove Swallows Tachycineta albilinea, but the fine 
white loral mark could not be discerned. P.D. also had observed several 
probable Mangrove Swallows there, 24 December 1974. Confusion could 
exist with the White-rumped Swallow T. leucorrhoa of Bolivia, Paraguay, 
Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina, and the Chilean Swallow T. leucopyga of 
southern Chile and Argentina, but these 2 species would normally be on 
their southern breeding grounds during the austral summer. Although there 
are no records of these species north of Brazil, several Tachycineta sp. have 
been seen in Surinam in March (T. Davis). The Mangrove Swallow is not 
reported from Colombia or Northern South America, but is locally common 
in Pacific lowlands of Panama (Ridgely 1976) and a race breeds on the coast 
of northern Peru (Meyer de Schauensee 1970). Although the birds seen in 
Colombia and Surinam remain unidentified, it is certain that Tachycineta 
swallows are occurring there and merit close attention. 

Progne sp. Purple Martin 

P.D. observed up to 3 adult male Purple Martins on 22 July and 1 August 
1974 at Santa Marta, a single on 1 August 1974 at Cienaga, another on 12 
August 1974 at Isla de Salamanca and another on 6 August 1974 at Riohacha. 
The dates suggest they were of the migratory race elegans of the southern 
species, P. modesta, which occasionally reaches Panama at that season 
(E. Eisenmann; Ridgely 1976), but specimens of the Northern Purple 
Martin P. subis have been obtained from Panama in August, and as adult 
males of the 2 species are not separable in the field (E. Eisenmann) the identity 
of the Colombian martins remains uncertain. 

Dendroica virens Black-throated Green Warbler 

P.D. observed one above Bogota at Quebrado del Chico (now a housing 
development), 28 January 1973. M.G. and S.K. saw 5-6 on 16 and 17 January 
in the Santa Marta mountains near San Lorenzo between 1650 and 2300 m 
altitude. The only previous record from Colombia is also from the Santa 
Marta range, a bird obtained at Cincinati (about 1200 m altitude) in April 
(Meyer de Schauensee 1966). A bird was recently recorded in coastal Zulia, 
Venezuela (Meyer de Schauensee et al. 1978), but the species is otherwise 
unknown in South America. 


Dendrocygna bicolor Fulvous Whistling Duck 

P.D. saw 22 at Isla Salamanca, 18 July 1974, and 6-10 there, 20 January 

[BulI.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(3)] 2 °° 

1975. The species is otherwise not recorded from the Caribbean coast of 
Colombia (see Meyer de Schauensee 1970). 

Elanoides forficatus Swallow-tailed Kite 

P.D. saw 5 on 26 July 1974 at Parque Tayrona, east of the city of Santa 
Marta. It is not known to breed in Caribbean Colombia. 

Coccyzus lansbergi Grey-capped Cuckoo 

With others, M.G. and S.K. saw one of this little known species near the 
hydroelectric plant at Yatecuy, Rio Anchicaya, Department of Valle, on 
the Pacific slope of the western Andes, 3 February 1977. This bird, which 
may have been a migrant (Koepcke 1964), was c.600 km southwest of its 
known range (Meyer de Schauensee 1964). It was sitting c.3 m up in a small 
tree at the edge of a clearing in wet tropical forest, not in "scrub" as listed 
by Meyer de Schauensee (1964). 

Chaetura brachyura Short-tailed Swift 

P.D. observed this species on 20 January 1975, 30 June and 18 July 1974 
at Isla Salamanca. It is known from southern Colombia, but these are the 
first records from the Caribbean coastal region. In Panama it is now recorded 
with increasing frequency (Ridgely 1976) and has been found breeding by 
E.S. Morton (per E. Eisenmann). 

Lepidopyga lillae Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird 

This is a "hyperendemic" species known only from mangroves near the 
mouth of the Magdalena River at Cienage Grande and rarely seen. P.D. 
identified 2 in mangroves at a new locality at the mouth of the Rio Rancheria, 
just east of the town of Riohacha, 6 August 1974. 

Molothrus armenti Bronze-brown Cowbird 

This species was believed to be an extremely rare form from the Amazonian 
area near Leticia (Meyer de Schauensee 1970), apparently because the few 
known individuals arrived with specimens from Leticia. It is now clear that 
the species resides in coastal Colombia between Cartagena and Isla Sala- 
manca. P.D. observed it on at least 5 visits to Isla Salamanca. It needs to be 
distinguished from the more abundant Shiny Cowbird M. bonariensis, and 
from the Bronzed Cowbird M. aeneus which breeds in the Canal Zone 
(E. Eisenmann) and which may be invading Colombia from nearby Panama. 
E. Eisenmann suggests that in the light of specimens sent by the late 
Armando Dugand, armenti and aeneus are best treated as conspecific, as they 
were by Blake (1968). 

Acknowledgements: Peter Alden, Ken Berlin, Michel Kleinbaum, Lee Morgan and Guy 
Tudor accompanied M.G. and S.K. in the field at Buenaventura and Anchicaya. We thank 
William Brown, Steven Hilty, Robert Ridgely and Eugene Eisenmann for numerous valu- 
able discussions concerning the status of birds in Colombia, Panama and adjacent parts 
of northern South America. 


Ansingh, F. H., Koelers, H. J., van der Weft, P. A. & Voous, K. H. i960. The breeding 

of the Cayenne or Yellow-billed Sandwich Tern in Curacao in 1958. Ardea 48 : 5 1-65 . 
Blake, E. R. 1968. Family Ictcridae, pp. 138-202, in Check-list of Birds of the World vol. 

14. Museum of Comparative Zoology: Cambridge, Mass. 
Buckley, P. A. & Buckley, F. G. 1970. Notes on the distribution of some Puerto Rican 

birds and on the courtship behaviour of White-tailed Tropic birds. Condor 72 : 483-486. 

201 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

Denham, R. 1972. Quetzalitis, Part one. Linnaean News-Letter 'vol. 16, no. 7. 

Donahue, P. J. 1977. Reddish Egret and Herring Gull in Caribbean Colombia. American 
Birds 31: 286. 

ffrench, R. P. 1973. A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad andTobago. Livingston Publishing Com- 
pany: Wynnewood, Pa. 

Fisher, D. J. 1978. First Record of Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus and third record 
of Herring Gull Larus argentatus for South America. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 98: 113. 

Hays, H. 1971. Roseate Tern, Sterna dougallii, banded on Atlantic Coast recovered on Paci- 
fic. BirdBanding 42 : 295. 

Koepcke, M. 1970. The Birds of the Department of Lima, Peru. Livingston Publishing Co: 
Wynnewood, Pa. 

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1964. The Birds of Colombia. Livingston Publishing Co: Wynne- 
wood, Pa. 

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1966. The Species of Birds of South America, with their Distribution. 
Livingston Publishing Co : Wynnewood, Pa. 

Meyer de Schauensee, R. 1970. A Guide to the Birds of South America. Livingston Publishing 
Company: Wynnewood, Pa. 

Meyer de Schauensee, R., Phelps, W. H. & Tudor, G. 1978. A Guide to the Birds of Vene- 
zuela. Princeton Univ. Press : Princeton, NJ. 

Plenge, M. 1974. Notes on some birds in west-central Peru. Condor 76 : 326-3 30. 

Ridgely, R. 1976. A Guide to theBirds of Panama. Princeton Univ. Press : Princeton NJ. 

Voous, K. 1968. Geographical variation in the Cayenne Tern. Ardea 56: 184-187. 

Walter, H. 1962. Vergleichende Untersuchungen an den Raubmowen Stercorarius parasiticus 
und longicaudus. J. fur. Orn. 103: 166-179. 

Wetmore, A. 1965. The Birds of the Republic of Panama. Part 1. Smithsonian Institution: 
Washington, D.C. 

Addresses: Michael Gochfeld, Occupational Health, N.J. State Department of Health, Tren- 
ton, NJ 08625, U.S.A. 

Stuart Keith, Dept. of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, 
N.Y. 10024, U.S.A. 

Paul D. Donahue, c/o Manomet Bird Observatory, Box 936, Manomet, Mass. 02345, 

© British Ornithologists' Club 

The Forest Wagtail Motacilla indica recorded in Nepal 

by Kai Curry -Lindahl 

Received 18 February 1980 

While visiting the Royal Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal, I got an 
excellent view for several hours of a Forest Wagtail Motacilla indica on 
30 November 1979, apparently the first record for Nepal. 

The bird visited a sand bank in the Rapti River in the northeastern part 
of the National Park and close to its Headquarters and Research Station. 
This temporary sand bank was located near the southern shore of the river 
and partially connected with a small grass covered island. No vegetation 
covered the bank. Other birds feeding simultaneously on the bank were 
Indian White Wagtails M. alba dukhunensis and White-faced Pied Wagtails 
M. a. leucopsis, as well as Little Ringed Plovers Charadrius dubius, 2. Kentish 
Plover C. alexandrinus and a Greenshank Tringa nebularia. 

[Bidl.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 202 

The double black gorget and the beige colour above are diagnostic for the 
Forest Wagtail. Although a typical wagtail in structure and movements this 
species nevertheless resembles in colour the Ringed and Kentish Plovers in 
winter plumage, the upper parts of all 3 species being an almost identical 
light brown in colour. All 3 species could on several occasions be focussed 
simultaneously with binoculars. It was striking how similar they were, 
resembling the sandy ground on which they were feeding. The head and 
dorsal colour of the Forest Wagtail is very well illustrated in Ali (1977), but 
less well in other handbooks. 

The Forest Wagtail observed in Chitwan kept invariably to itself while 
searching for food and mingled only occasionally with the other birds. It 
was observed on the sand bar from the morning to the late afternoon of 
30 November but was not present there on the preceding and following 
days; nor was the species observed in other areas of the Royal Chitwan 
National Park which I visited 19-21 November and 28 November to 1 

The species is characterised as a "woodland bird" by several handbooks 
referring to the winter range of the species (Delacour & Mayr 1946, Delacour 
1947, Ali & Ripley 1973). The vegetation-less sand bar in the Rapti River 
was surrounded by water. The nearest mainland shore consisted of grassland 
and a bit farther away of riverine forest. 

The Forest Wagtail breeds in eastern Asia from eastern Siberia, Sakhalin, 
Korea and Manchuria to China and, in addition, in an isolated range in 
northwestern Burma and Assam (Ali & Ripley 1973, McClure 1974, Cheng 
1976). It winters mostly in southern China, Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia 
and Indonesia, and it is an occasional visitor in the northern Philippines. In 
the eastern Himalayas it is a straggler or scarce passage migrant (Ali 1977), 
It has reached Kashmir once but not Nepal and Sikkim (Fleming et al. 1979). 
However, Ali & Ripley (1973) state that this species has been recorded on 
passage in Sikkim both in spring and autumn. A map in McClure (1974) 
includes Nepal in the winter range but is not supported by data. 

According to Ali & Ripley (1973) the Forest Wagtail arrives in its winter 
quarters in the third week of September. There are several passage records 
elsewhere in October but none in November, so that the Chitwan individual 
in late November appears to be exceptional both in time and space. 

References : 

Ali, S. 1977. Field Guide to the Birds of the Eastern Himalayas. London and New York. 

Ali, S. & Ripley, S. D. 1973. Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan. Vol. 9. Bombay, 

London and New York. 
Cheng, T. H. 1976. The Birds of China. Peking. 
Delacour, J. 1947. Birds of Malaysia. New York. 
Delacour, J. & Mayr, E. 1946. Birds of the Philippines. New York. 
Fleming, R. L. Sr., Fleming, R. L. Jr. & Bangdel, L. S. 1979. Birds of Nepal. 2nd ed. 

McClure, H. E. 1974. Migration and Survival of the Birds of Asia. Bangkok. 

Address: Prof. Kai Curry-Lindahl, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Box 161 21, Stockholm, 

British Ornithologists' Club. 

2o 3 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 

Some observations of birds in 
northwestern Tripolitania 1948—9 

by J. G. Parker 

Received 4 March 19 80 

Bundy (1976) cites me for the only definite record of the Redwing Turdus 
iliacus in Libya (Parker 1950). I was stationed at Sabratha, western Tripoli- 
tania from 16 Dec 1948 to 5 Sep 1949 and I now realise that the following 
notes may also be of more than personal interest. 

I have followed the sequence and nomenclature adopted by Bundy and, 
for convenience, cited for each species the number and abbreviation for 
status he gives. Apart from personal observations, all information is derived 
from Bundy unless another author is quoted. 

Except for the coastal strip Pisida to Misurata, I had no opportunity to 
make observations except within the area east of Zuara (30 miles west of 
Sabratha), west of Tripoli and north of the 500m contour in the Jebel. Two 
species, the Andalusian Hemipode Turnix sylvatica (84) and Streaked Scrub 
Warbler Scotocerca inquieta (248), whose status in this area is doubtful, were 
not observed. 

3 . Podiceps nigricollis Black-necked Grebe W V 

c. 50 (one shot) on a flooded salt-flat west of Sabratha, 26 Dec, following 
severe gales some days before. All other records were maritime, with 
maximum of up to 50 in Tripoli Harbour. 

36. Anser anser Grey-lag Goose AV 

5 at 6 miles east of Sabratha, on a salt-flat, allowed an approach to within 
100 yards, 1 Jan. Not previously recorded in Tripolitania. 

5 o. Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle (WV) RB ? 

A sub-adult halfway between Azizia and Jefren at Bir el Gnrem, 7 Aug. 

59. Circus cyaneus Hen Harrier (PV) 

A male seen at close range Sabratha, 4 Apr. One previous record. 

79. Yalco subbuteo Hobby PV CB 

One in trees east of Sabratha on the early date of 6 Feb. 

83. Coturnix coturnix Common Quail PV 

Heard frequently and seen occasionally round Sabratha, 20 Mar to end Apr. 
C/8 found 13 Apr. Witherby et al. state the species breeds Morocco to Egypt, 
while Etchecopar & Hue (1967) say "not definitely" in Libya. Bundy does 
not refer to even occasional or casual breeding. 

149. Chlidonias leucopterus White- winged Black Tern PV 

A juvenile flying south over a wadi near Garian, 15 Aug; following recent 
rains the wadi contained isolated pools of water. All other records refer to 
the coastal strip. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(3)] 204 

166. Clamator glandarius Great Spotted Cuckoo AV 
One probable east of Tripoli, 19 Feb. This bird, seen perched on a telegraph 
wire, had a crest, a long tail and slim build. The identification was con- 
sidered doubtful because of the date and because the bird appeared smaller 
than I supposed the species to be. Etchecopar & Hue (1967) suggest that 
the species winters in Egypt and Morocco, and Bannerman (1955) records 
it in a latitude north of Tripoli on 17 Feb. On first seeing juveniles of the 
species in Portugal I was surprised at how inappropriate the adjective 
"great" seemed. 

167. Cuculus canorus Cuckoo (PV) 
One Sabratha, 13 Apr. One, dark brown, presumably a female in hepatic 
plumage, Sabratha, 14 Apr. 

176. Apus affinis House Swift PV 

178. Apus melba Alpine Swift MB PV 

Both species seen in "some numbers" at Wadi Chafalla, near Jefren, 6 Aug. 
My impression was that I was watching birds from nearby breeding colonies, 
though there is no evidence of either species breeding in Tripolitania. 

267. Euscinia svecica Bluethroat (PV) 

At least two females Sabratha 19-21 Mar. A white spotted male, 22 Mar. 
None of the other 13 records for Libya, including those of Willcox & 
Willcox (1978), was of the white spotted form. 

282. Saxicola rubetra Whinchat PV 

1-2 at Sabratha, 17 Dec to mid Jan. Not seen between 17 Jan and 27 Mar, 
when the first spring migrant was observed. Not usually seen in winter. 

284. Turdus iliacus Redwing AV 

Besides my single record of a bird in trees near the museum at Sabratha* 
12 Feb, Willcox & Willcox (1978) record Redwings in mixed flocks of 
thrushes, Jan & Feb 1970. 

291. Emberi^a caesia Cretzschmar's Bunting AV 

At least 2 in a party of 4-6 buntings near Sabratha, 17 Apr. The head colour, 
"grey blue not grey green", was diagnostic of E. caesia. The possibility that 
others in the party were Ortolans E. hortulana cannot be excluded. Only one 
previous record for Libya, in Cyrenaica. 

References : 

Bundy, G. 1976. The Birds of Libya. B.O.U. Check List No. 1. The British Ornithologists 

Bannerman, D. A. 1955. Birds of the British Isles. Vol IV: 142-151. Oliver & Boyd. 
Etchecopar, R. D. & Hue, F. 1967. Birds of North Africa. Oliver & Boyd. 
Parker, J. G. 1950. Eton Coll. Nat. Hist. Soc. Report 10(1939-50): 43-47. 
Willcox, D. C. R. & Willcox, B. 1978. Observations of Birds in Tripolitania, Libya. Ibis 

Witherby, H. F., Jourdain, F. C. R., Ticehurst, N. F. & Tucker, B. W. 1938-41. The 

Handbook of British Birds. Vol 5 : 250-254. Witherby: London. 

Address: J. G. Parker, Tye House, Bramford, Ipswich, Suffolk. 
(C) British Ornithologists' Club. 

205 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(3)] 

The first and second records of the Short-Tailed 

Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris for the Malay Penisula 

and other Puffinus records 

hy P. R. Colston 

Received 1 December 1979 

A live example of the Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris, more 
commonly referred to as the Tasmanian "Mutton-bird", was hand caught by a 
local fisherman from the sea surface at midnight near Koh Mai Torn Island, 
off Phuket Island, W. Peninsula Thailand on 2 May 1977. Mr. C. B. Frith 
prepared a skin of the bird and kindly presented it to the British Museum 
(Nat. Hist.) - BMNH Reg. No. 1979.6. 1. He states that a second bird of this 
species was caught at the same locality in similar fashion on 10 May 1977. 
These are the first and second records for the Malay Peninsula. 

The BMNH bird is a $ measuring approximately 340 mm in length, 
wing 258 mm, tail 83 mm, culmen 32 mm, tarsus 52 mm, middle toe and 
claw 63 mm. Its skull is fully ossified. The plumage is wholly dark brownish- 
black above, with black wing and tail quills, slightly paler below with 
1 greyish under- wing coverts; tail short and rounded. The slender beak is 
, leaden grey; tarsus blackish-grey to purple-grey, claws lead-grey. 

This shearwater breeds only in Australia and the Tasmanian islands. It is a 
trans-equatorial migrant, whose migration route has been determined from 
i sight and specimen records, confirmed by recoveries of ringed birds (Serventy 
\ et at. 1 971). Young birds start their migration in the latter part of April or 
• early May. Breeders and immatures fly quickly northwards across the 
! Equator into the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans. During June-August the 
[ main wintering area is in southern Kamchatka, the Aleutians and the Arctic 
Ocean to 71 ° N. 

The occurrence of Puffinus spp. in the Malacca Straits is, according to 
Medway & Wells (1976), limited to one record, by Allen, of a group of 
: medium-sized, dark shearwaters with graduated tails, tentatively identified as 
1 P. pacificus or P. carneipes. These were seen on 4 August 1950 at the north 
end of the Malacca Straits (6° N, 98 ° E). On 10 July 1963, when I was 
returning from Australia to the U.K. I identified 15 Wedge-tailed Shear- 
waters P. pacificus in approximately the same area at the north end of the 
Malacca Straits. In my field notes I noted at the time (0830-0930, sea rough 
with squalls) that they were narrow-winged medium-sized puffinus, dark 
chocolate brown above and below (one or two pale phase birds were also 
present). I had close views of several and identified them as P. pacificus by 
, their long wedged-shaped tails, slender dark bills and their lighter build 
compared with either P. tenuirostris or the larger Pale-footed Shearwater 
P. carneipes. Several more Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were encountered later 
in the day further northwest in the Andaman Sea. The first Pale-footed 
Shearwaters were sighted 6 days later in rough seas on 16 July near Bombay. 
! I know all 3 species well from earlier voyages or in the vicinity of their 
breeding grounds around Australia in subsequent years. 

The interesting presence of P. tenuirostris daring May in Thai-Malay waters 
may indicate that small numbers pass undetected through the South China 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(3)] 2 °6 

sea on their way north, possibly becoming displaced by storms together 
with other widely ranging Australian Puffinus species. On the other hand 
they may be first-year birds which become "lost" and attach themselves to 
migrating flocks of Pale-footed Shearwaters. 

Serventy et al. (1971) cite 2 individuals obtained in the northern Indian 
Ocean in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, both in May. 

References : 

Allen, E.F. 195 1. Two new birds in the Straits of Malacca. Malay Nat. J. 5: 155-157. 

Medway, Lord & Wells, D. R. 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula. V. Conclusion and 

Survey of every species. Witherby : London. 
Serventy, D. L., Serventy, V. S. & Warham, J. 1971. The Handbook of Australian Sea-birds. 

Reed: Sydney. 

Address: P. R. Colston, British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts, England. 
© British Ornithologists' Club. 


Mr H. G. Alexander writes commendably "in the interest of truth" : — 

'On page 8 of the centennial Bulletin, Mr Peal, telling of the curiously 
hesitant steps by which women were admitted to the Club, notes : "However, 
at the Meeting on 15 March 191 1 Miss E. L. Turner is shown as a Visitor - 
one hopes she was allowed at the dinner first but that is not stated. She 
showed 34 slides and her presence must have been arranged well in advance; 
she came again in 191 2". Well, the fact is she was not allowed to come to the 
dinner. She was a close neighbour of mine in Kent, and I knew her very 
well. In protest at the strange behaviour of the BOC officers, I went with 
her to get dinner somewhere else, and later we arrived at the restaurant 
(Pagani's, if I remember right), where we met the Duchess of Bedford, who 
was Miss Turner's personal friend (the only time I met her, as far as I can 
recollect) ; and the three of us remained in some ante-room till the men had 
finished their dinner - at least fifteen or twenty minutes, I think.' 

25 May 1980 275 Crosslands, Kennett Square, PA. 19348, U.S.A. 


Harter, W. 1979. Birds in Fact and Legend. Pp. 1-128. Black and white drawings. The Oak 
Tree Press: London. £2.95. 

A lighthearted look at tales of birds, true and untrue, popularly written, but with many 
facts as well as fancies, and illustrated with some pleasing line drawings. 

Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1980. African Handbook of Birds. Series 1. Birds 
of Eastern and North Eastern Africa. Vols. 1 & 2. Publisher's note and Biographical note. 
Vol. 1. Pp. xxiv, 1-836. Vol. 2. Pp. xiv, 1-1113 + Index. Longmans: London. Vol. 1. £25. 
Vol. 2. £30. 

A welcome reprint of the 1957 edition of this invaluable handbook, with unaltered text 
and illustrations and with the addition of 2 maps showing the changes in political bound- 
aries since the book was first published. The publishers regret that the extensive revision 
needed and the incorporation of notes for future editions left by Col. Mackworth-Praed 
have not been able to be carried out. It might seem now that they never will be. Mrs. 
Pat Hall has been responsible for the informative and appreciative biographical note on 
the two authors, the value of whose work seems likely to endure well into and beyond 
a fourth decade. 


Papers, whether by Club Members or by non-members, should be sent to the 
Editor, Dr. J. F. Monk, The Glebe Cottage, Goring, Reading RG8 9AP, and 
are accepted on the understanding that they are offered solely for publication 
in the Bulletin. They should be typed on one side of the paper, with double- 
spacing and a wide margin, and submitted with a duplicate copy on airmail 

Scientific nomenclature and the style and lay-out of papers and of Refer- 
ences should conform with usage in this or recent issues of the Bulletin, unless 
a departure is explained and justified. Photographic illustrations, although 
welcome, can only be accepted if the contributor is willing to pay for their 

An author wishing to introduce a new name or describe a new form should 
append nom.^gen., sp. or subsp. nov., as appropriate, and set out the supporting 
evidence under the headings "Description", "Distribution", "Type", 
"Measurements of Type" and "Material examined", plus any others needed. 

A contributor is entitled to 10 free reprints of the pages of the Bulletin in 
which his contribution, if one page or more in length, appears. Additional 
reprints or reprints of contributions of less than one page may be ordered 
when the manuscript is submitted and will be charged for. 

Available post free on application to Dr. D. W. Snow, Zoological Museum, 
Tring, Herts HP23 9AP, England, as follows: 1973-present (Vols. 93-99) 
issues (4 per year), £2.00 each issue; 1969-72 (Vols. 89-92) issues (6 per 
year), £1.50 each; pre-1969 (generally 9 per year) £1.00 each. Indices £1.00 
for Vol 70 and after, £2 for Vols 50-69, £2.50 for Vol 49 and before. 
I ong runs (at least 10 years) are available at reduced prices on enquiry, 
higher prices may be charged otherwise for scarce numbers. 

Only Members of the British Ornithologists' Union are eligible to join the 
Club: applications should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, Mrs. D. Bradley, 
53 Osterley Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, together with the current year's 
subscription. The remittance and all other payments to the Club should 
always be in sterling unless an addition of £1.00 is made to cover bank 
charges for exchange, etc. Payment of subscription entitles a Member to 
receive all Bulletins for the year. Changes of address and revised bankers' 
orders or covenants (and any other correspondence concerning Membership) 
should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer as promptly as possible. 

The Bulletin may be purchased by non-members on payment of an annual 
subscription of £9-00 (postage and index free). Send all orders and remit- 
tances in sterling, unless an addition of £1.00 is made to cover bank charges, 
to the Hon. Treasurer. Single issues may be obtained as back numbers (see 

Correspondence about Club meetings and other matters not mentioned 
above should go to the Hon. Secretary, R. E. F. Peal, 2 Chestnut Lane, 
Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3AR. 

Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 
The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road Sevenoaks Kent. 

ISSN 0007-1595 

Bulletin of the 

British Ornithologists' Club 

Edited by 
Dr. J. F. MONK 

Volume 100 No. 4 

December 1 980 


Tuesday, 13 January 1981 at the Senior Common Room, South Side, 
Imperial College, Princes Gardens, S.W.7 at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. Mr. 
Stanley Cramp, O.B.E., President of the Union, will speak on Ornithology 
and Conservation in Europe. Those wishing to attend should send their accept- 
ance with a cheque for £4.90 a person to the Hon. Secretary at 2 Chestnut 
Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3AR (telephone Sevenoaks (0732) 50313) to 
arrive not later than first post on Thursday, 8 January. 

Tuesday, 3 March 1981 at the same venue at 6.30 p.m. for 7 p.m. 
Professor G. M. Dunnet, Ph.D., Regius Professor of Natural History at 
Aberdeen University, will speak on Thirty years of Fulmars. Those wishing 
to attend should send their acceptance with a cheque for £4.90 a person to 
the Hon. Secretary (address above) to arrive not later than first post 
on Thursday, 26 February. 

Tuesday, 19 May 1981 at the same venue and time it is expected that 
Mr. John G. Williams will speak on The Birds of East Africa. 

Tuesday, 7 July 1981 at the same venue and time Mr. J. H. Elgood will 
speak on Birds of Nigeria. 

Subsequent Meetings will be on Tuesday, 15 September 1981 and 
Tuesday, 17 November 1981, when it is hoped that Mr. David Hosking 
and Mr. Peter Hayman will speak. 

Gifts or offers for sale of unwanted back numbers of the 
Bulletin are very welcome 

The Club has no reference copies of Vol. 48 and many 
earlier issues and these would be very specially appreciated 


D. R. Calder {Chairman) B. Gtzy {Vice-Chairman) 

R. E. F. Peal {Hon. Secretary) Mrs. D. M. Bradley {Hon. Treasurer) 

Dr. J. F. Monk {Editor) R. D. Chancellor 

J.G.Parker C.F.Mann 

R. A. N. Croucher 

British Ornithologists' Club 

207 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

Bulletin of the 


Vol. 1 00 No. 4 Published : 20 December 1 980 


The seven hundred and thirtieth Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday 16 September 1980 at 
7 p.m. The attendance was 22 Members and 1 3 guests. 

Members present were: D. R. CALDER {Chairman), F. B. S. ANTRAM, Major 
Revd. G. K. McCULLOCH, C. F. MANN, Dr. J. F. MONK, R. E. F. PEAL, S. A. H. 

Guests present were: G. ARCHIBALD, Miss M. BARRY, Major B. BOOTH, D. 
BRADLEY, Miss S. P. L. DIXON, Mrs. R. S. R. FITTER, Mrs. B. M. GIBBS, Mrs. 

Mr. James Hancock and Dr. Christopher Perrins spoke on their expedition to the Chaco 
and Corrientes provinces of northern Argentina. 

They discussed the discovery of the nests of the nominate races of the Rufescent Tiger 
Heron Tigrisoma lineatum and the Whistling Heron Syrigma sibilatrix and showed slides 
of these little-known species. Dr. Perrins gave details of the rich and varied bird life of the 
two provinces with illustrations of a number of the unique species of this seldom- visited 
area. He also described his short visit to the Patagonian region. 

The seven hundred and thirty-first Meeting of the Club was held in the Senior Common 
Room, South Side, Imperial College, London, S.W.7 on Tuesday 18 November 1980 at 
7 p.m. The attendance was 26 Members and 14 guests. 

Members present were: D. R. CALDER {Chairman), F. B. S. ANTRAM, Major 

Guests present were: Miss M. BARRY, Mrs. V. G. BURTON, Miss S. N. CONDER, 
Miss S. P. F. DIXON, D. E. FAIR, Dr. CHRISTOPH IMBODEN, Mr. and Mrs. T. R. 
PILCHER and Mr. and Mrs. G. H. SEARLE. 

Dr. Christoph Imboden spoke on "Some endangered bird species in New Zealand and 
work by the New Zealand Wildlife Service to save them from extinction" and illustrated 
his address with colour transparancies. He explained the origins of the N.Z. fauna and the 
effects of colonization by man in the last 1000 years, including forest clearance and intro- 
duction of vertebrates such as ground mammals and 122 bird species (of which 36 are now 
established), against 116 endemic bird species. On some of the 600 small islands near the 
main islands it has been possible by intensive work to eliminate rats, cats and goats and, 
with a ban on boats landing, to prevent re-infestation. 

He spoke of the Stitchbird Notiomystis Cinta, Chathan Island Robin Petroica traversi (now 
down to seven birds). Kakapo Strigops habroptilus, Takahe Notornis mantelli and Kokako 
Callaeas cinerea, describing long field work to discover the causes of decline and to evolve 
remedial measures, such as habitat re-creation and preservation, increase of breeding suc- 
cess, elimination of introduced predators, establishment of new populations and captive 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 208 

Rockhopper Penguins Eudypies chrysocome 
at Gough Island 

by A. J. Williams 

Received j February ipSo 

The Rockhopper Penquin Eudyptes chrysocome is the only penguin which 
breeds at Gough Island (4o°S, io° W) in the South Atlantic. It is also the only- 
species of penguin which breeds at the Tristan da Cunha Island group 
(c. 37°S, i2°W, Tristan for convenience), 370 km to the northwest, which is 
the type locality for the race E. c. moseleyi. The nearest breeding localities 
to the south of Gough Island are the Falkland Islands (5 i°S, 59°W) and the 
Prince Edward Islands (46 °S, 37°E), where the populations both belong to 
the nominate race. Accounts of the Rockhopper Penguin at Gough and 
Tristan are scattered and fragmentary and contain little data. During a visit 
to Gough Island, from 30 October to 11 November 1979, I collected 
information on the size and appearance of breeding Rockhopper Penguins, 
estimated the total population size, and made observations on their breeding 

The subspecies at gough island. 

Rockhopper Penguins at Gough and Tristan were considered by early 
writers, most of whom had experience of several populations of the species, 
to be larger with longer head plumes than more southerly populations (see 
review in Murphy 1936). Mathews & Iredale (1921) classified birds at 
Tristan as a subspecies E.c. moseleyi, whereas Hagen (1952) concluded that 
they were not distinct in size or in the length of their head plumes from other 
populations. However, it should be noted that Hagen's own data were from 
birds which were at the islands for their annual moult and were not neces- 
sarily mature, breeding individuals. Elliott (1957) considered that the Rock- 
hopper Penguins at Tristan were definitely subspecies on the basis of 
measurements of the birds' head plumes and of their underwing pattern. 
Carins (1974), on the basis of photographs, considered that Rockhopper 
Penguins at Gough Island belonged to the nominate race because they were 
"dark-faced", with the skin of the face "dark to the edge of the bill", 
whereas those at Tristan he considered to belong to the race moseleyi on the 
basis of "visually distinct . . . characteristics of the crest", though these 
surprisingly were not described. 

I examined and photographed breeding adult penguins at Gough Island 
and took measurements of 10 pairs of breeding birds. Their head plumes, 
underwing pattern and facial colouration were compared with photographs 
of Rockhopper Penguins at Tristan. They were similar in all respects. 
Culmen and flipper lengths of breeding adults from Gough Island and else- 
where are compared in Table I. Unfortunately there are no comparable data 
from Tristan. It is apparent from Table I that Rockhopper Penguins at 
Gough Island are similar in size to those at Amsterdam Island where the race 
concerned is E. c. moseleyi and that both these populations consist of individuals 
whose appendages are longer than those of nominate chrysocome. I infer from 
these comparisons that the Gough Island population of Rockhopper 
Penguins belongs to the race moseleyi and that they are not separable from 
the penguins at Tristan. 

209 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

Table i 
Length (mm) of the culmen and flipper of adult Rockhopper Penguins 
Eudyptes cbrysocome. 1 





Locality and 







Mean ± SD 


Mean ± SD 

Mean ± SD 

Mean ± SD 

Gough I.*. 


49.1 ± 3.8 


43.6 ± 1.6 

185.0 ± 4-7 

179.4 ± 4.3 



(41.2 — 46.5) 



Amsterdam I. 







(Duroselle & 

Tollu 1977) 

Marion I. 


45-7 ± i.J 


40.6 ± 1.7 

165.3 ± 7-5 

161.5 ± 5.6 


Campbell I. 


46.4 ± 1.4 


41. 1 ± 2.1 

167. ± 4.4 

167. ± 3.4 

(Warham 1972) 

1 Other parameters measured at Gough Island but for which insufficient comparable data 

are available are : 

Culmen depth (mm), measured at point where the mandibular rami meet (Warham 1972), 

10 c?c? 20.2 ± 0.9 (18.7 — 21.4) 10 ?? 17.6 ± 0.8 (16. 1 — 18.7); Foot length (mm) 

10 <?cJ 1 1 5.9 ± 3.2(112 — 122) 10 ?? 110.1 ±4.3 (101 — 116). 
2 Sample size as for culmen length. 
3 Range in parentheses. 

Population size 

Comer (Verrill 1895) remarked that the penguins at Gough Island 
numbered "millions" and Swales (1965) considered that "probably two 
million breed". I sailed around Gough Island in the crayfishing vessel 
Hilary on 31 October 1979. During the 7-hour voyage I scanned the coast- 
line with binoculars and estimated the populations of penguins in units of 
100, recording the number of units by mechanical tally counter. The coastline 
of Gough Island, approximately 40 km long, consists primarily of very steep, 
vegetated slopes which limit the penguins to a narrow coastal fringe except 
at two localities on the east coast, The Glen and Sophora Glen, where 
penguins breed inland and could not be counted from the sea. Swales (1965) 
estimated the breeding populations at these two glens to be 1000 and 10,000 

Table 2 
Population size of Rockhopper Eudyptes cbrysocome at Gough Island by coastal sector 

Coastline sector numbers of pairs 

Transvaal Cove to South West Point 8,400 

South West Point to Gaggins Point 4,900 

Gaggins Point to North Point 1 5 , 700 

North Point to North East Point 3 2,700 

North East Point to The Glen 16,600 

The Glen & Sophora Glen (1 1,000) l 

The Glen to Transvaal Cove none visible 

from sea 89,300 
Jdata from Swales (1965) 

pairs respectively. My own estimate for the remainder of the island totalled 
78,300 birds (Table 2). At the time of my estimate almost all the birds ashore 
were males undertaking the last incubation shift and the estimate therefore 
gives a good indication of the number of breeding pairs at the island. 
Ground-truthing was not possible because the number of readily accessible 
areas adjacent to the weather station, where I was based on the island, 
contained few penguins and these were counted when the boat was closer 
inshore than at other sectors of the coast. Nevertheless, I consider that my 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(4)] 210 

estimate had an error of no more than ±33%, or for convenience, a total of 
25,000 birds. On this basis, and using Swales' (1965) data for inland popula- 
tions, I estimated the current breeding population of Rockhopper Penguins 
at Gough Island to be 90,000^ 2 5 ,000 pairs. 

This estimate, though vastly lower than the previous claims of millions, 
does not necessarily indicate a drastic reduction in the numbers of penguins 
at Gough Island. The steep slopes which confine the penguins to the coastal 
fringe also make it impossible to approach and census all the penguin 
colonies from the landward side. There is no evidence that Comer (Verrill 
1895) or Swales (1965) made any concerted attempt to count penguins 
or indeed that they circumnavigated the island and their claims must be 
regarded as educated guesses. Swales (1965), also it should be noted, 
claimed that there were 200,000 pairs of Rockhopper Penguins at "Rookery 
Point", a locality which does not appear on his accompanying map. I have 
had extensive experience of counting penguins at other localities (Williams 
et al. 1979), and saw neither evidence for such a large colony nor an area 
which could accommodate a colony of this size. I think the previous estimates 
must have been such gross overestimates as a result of misjudging the size 
of suitable breeding habitat. 

Warham (1975) considered that the race moseleyi was confined to four 
localities : the Tristan da Cunha islands, and St. Paul, Amsterdam and Gough 
Islands. The Rockhopper Penguin populations at each of these localities 
have now been estimated - Tristan 280,000 pairs (Elliott 1957); Amsterdam 
Island 100,000 pairs (Segonzac 1972); St. Paul Island 10,000 pairs (Segonzac 
1972) - so that with Gough Island's 90,000 pairs, the world population for 
this subspecies is about 480,000 pairs, of which some 20% breed at Gough 

Clutch size and dimensions 

Rockhopper Penguins, like all Eudyptes penguins, lay a clutch of 2 eggs 
which are dimorphic, the first laid or A-egg being markedly smaller and 
lighter than the second laid or B-egg (Warham 1975). There have been 
several reports that 3 -egg clutches are laid at Tristan (e.g. Murphy 1936, 
Elliott 1957) and Watson (1975) has, apparently by extrapolation, stated that 
this is also the case at Gough Island. The reports of 3 -egg clutches are not 
fully authenticated and are probably erroneous (Williams in press, a). Investi- 
gation of Rockhopper Penguin clutches at Gough Island by Shaughnessy 
(Shaughnessy & Fairall 1976), Voisin (1979) and myself have all failed to 
find any 3-egg clutches. 

Table 3 
Dimensions (mm) of Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome eggs 
Length Breadth 

Locality and A-egg B-egg A-egg B-egg 

r eference N Mean ± SD N Mean ± SD N Mean ± SD N Mean ± SD 

Gough I. 1 30 65.2 ± 4.0 30 73.0 ± 2.6 30 49.2 i 1.8 30 55.2 ± 1.7 

(Author) (51.4—70.8) (67.3 — 76.8) (45.5 — 52.8) (52.6 — 58.5) 

Amsterdam I. 44 63.2 44 70.1 44 49.7 44 54.7 

(Duroselle & 

Tollu 1977) 
Marionl. 122 62.3 ± 2.6 119 70.2 ± 2.6 122 46.8 ± 1.7 119 52.9 i i»7 

Heardl. 11 63.9 ± 2.7 11 71.9 ± 2.0 11 46.4 ± 2.9 11 52.9 i 2.5 

(Gwynn 1953) 

'Gough Island range in parentheses. 

2ii [BulLB.O.C. ipSo: 100(4)] 

I measured the eggs in 30 2-egg clutches at Gough Island and these data 
are compared with data from other localities in Table 3 . Both A- and B-eggs 
at Gough Island are on average longer and broader than eggs elsewhere 
(excepting the breadth of A-eggs at Amsterdam Island) ; but the degree of 
dimorphism between A- and B-eggs at Gough Island, calculated by Warham's 
(1975) method, is similar to that at other localities. 

Breeding season 

Comer (Verrill 1895) reported finding the first Rockhopper Penguin eggs 
at Gough Island on 14 September and that egg-laying was completed by 
29 September. Swales (1965) reported that in 2 seasons the first eggs were 
found on 1 and 4 October. Newly hatched chicks have been recorded on 
5 November (Shaughnessy & Fairall 1976) and 11 November (Swales 1965). 
During my visit, newly hatched chicks were found on 3 1 October, but most 
eggs did not hatch until 7-9 November. As the incubation period of the 
B-eggs oiEudyptes penguins (which produce most of the hatchlings) averages 
35-57 days, the eggs at Gough Island during the last 20 years must have been 
laid in late September or early October, which is 2 weeks later than recorded 
by Comer in 1889. Since the time at which Rockhopper Penguins lay their 
eggs is related to sea temperature (Warham 1972), this suggests that there 
may have been some change in mean monthly sea temperatures between 
Comer's 1889 and Swales' 1955 visits. A similar delay in the breeding of 
Rockhopper Penguins has been recorded at Tristan (Elliott 1957). 

Miscellaneous observations 

At Marion Island (46°S, 37°E) only 41% of the Rockhopper Penguin 
nests which retain eggs until the end of the incubation period contain 2 eggs, 
and once the larger B-egg has hatched the remaining A-egg at these nests is 
ignored and fails to hatch (Williams in press, b). At Gough Island both eggs 

Table 4 
Contents of Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome nests at the end of the 
incubation period 
Marion Island Gough Island 

Contents % (N) % (N) 

A-egg only 6.3 (12) 10.4 (17) 

B-egg only 52.9 (101) 23.9 (39) 

A and B eggs 1 40.8 (78) 65.7 (107) 

Comparison of data in this line by X 2 homogeneity (or contingency test gave a X 2 value of 

were retained until the end of incubation (65%) at significantly more nests 
than at Marion Island (Table 4) and there seemed to be a higher proportion 
of nests at which 2 chicks hatched. Two factors are probably responsible 
for this situation: differences in the degree of predation and in nest-site 
ecology. The loss of eggs to predators is apparently more common at 
Marion than at Gough Island, because the penguin nest-sites at Marion 
Island tend to be less sheltered by rocks and vegetation than at Gough 
Island and also because the intensity of predation is probably greater at 
Marion Island than at Gough Island. Two predators, the Lesser Sheathbill 
Chionis minor and Subantarctic Skua Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi y prey upon 
Rockhopper Penguin eggs at Marion Island, whereas at Gough Island there 
is no predator of similar size to the Sheathbill, and the Subantarctic Skuas 
C. a. hamiltoni appear to prefer small petrels (Procellariidae, Hydrobatidae and 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(4)] 212 

Pelecanoididae), which are more numerous there than at Marion Island, to 
penguin eggs. 

Rockhopper Penguins incubate with their eggs placed one in front of the 
other, with the posterior egg situated between the parent's feet and thus 
less accessible to predators than the anterior egg (Burger & Williams 1979). 
The position of the eggs was recorded in 46 2-egg clutches at Gough Island. 
At two-thirds (31) the A-egg was in the anterior position. Some individual 
Subantarctic Skuas may specialise in preying upon penguin eggs and at one 
skua midden at Gough Island there were 30 eggs. Of 19 measurable eggs 
from this midden, 13 - approximately two-thirds - were A-eggs, a direct 
reflection of the normal placing of A-eggs in the anterior, more vulnerable 
incubation position. 

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to the South African Department of Transport for 
permission to travel to Gough Island, for transport to the island and for accommodation 
and facilities at their weather station at Gough Island. This research has been sponsored 
and supported by the South African Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research and the 
University of Cape Town. It is a particular pleasure to acknowledge the help of Captain 
Stoff berg and his crew in the M. V. Hilary. I am indebted to Mrs. M. K. Rowan for the loan 
of photographs of Rockhopper Penguins taken at the Tristan da Cunha group and for 
discussion of the text. I also thank P. D. Shaughnessy for comments on the text. 

References : 

Burger, A. E. & Williams, A. J. 1979. Egg temperatures of the Rockhopper Penguin and 

some other penguins. Auk 96 : 100-105. 
Carins, M. 1974. Facial characteristics of Rockhopper Penguins. Emu 74 : 55-57. 
Duroselle, T. & Tollu, B. 1977. The Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome moseleyi) of 

Saint Paul and Amsterdam Islands. In Llano, G. (ed.), Adaptations within Antarctic 

Ecosystems. Smithsonian Inst: Washington. 
Elliott, H. F. I. 1957. A contribution to the ornithology of the Tristan da Cunha group. 

Ibisc)(): 545-586. 
Gwynn, A. M. 1953. The egg-laying and incubation periods of Rockhopper, Macaroni and 

Gentoo Penguins. A.N.A.R.E. Reports, SeriesB, 1 : 1-29. 
Hagen, Y. 1952. Birds of Tristan da Cunha. Res. Norwegian Sci. Exped. Tristan da Cunha 20: 

Mathews, G. M. & Iredale, T. 1921. Manual of the Birds of Australia, Vol. 1. London: 

Murphy, R. C. 1936. Oceanic Birds of South America, Vol. 1. New York: American Museum 

of Natural History. 
Segonzac, M. 1972. Donnees recentes sur la faune des lies Saint-Paul et Nouvelle 

Amsterdam. Oiseau 42 : 3-68. 
Shaughnessy, P. D. & Fairall, N. 1976. Notes on seabirds at Gough Island. S. Afr. J. 

Antarct. Res. 6: 23-25. 
Swales, M. K. 1965. The sea-birds of Gough Island. Ibis 107: 17-42. 
Verrill, G. E. 1895. On some birds and eggs collected by Mr. Geo. Comer at Gough Island, 

Kerguelen Island and the island of South Georgia. Trans. Connect. Acad. 9 : 430-478. 
Voisin, J-F. 1979. Observations ornithologiques des iles Tristan da Cunha et Gough. 

Alauda\-]\ 73-82. 
Warham, J. 1972. Breeding seasons and sexual dimorphism in Rockhopper Penguins. Auk 

89: 86-105. 
Warham, J. 1975. The crested penguins. In The Biology of Penguins: 189-269. Stonehouse, B. 

(ed.). London: Macmillan. 
Watson, G. E. 1975. Birds of the Antarctic and Sub- Antarctic. Washington D.C. American 

Geophysical Union. 
Williams, A J. In press, a. The clutch size of Macaroni and Rockhopper Penguins. 
Williams, A. J. In press, b. Offspring reduction in Macaroni and Rockhopper Penguins. Auk. 
Williams, A.J., Siegfried, W. R., Burger, A. E. & Berruti, A. 1979. The Prince Edward, 

Islands : . sanctuary for seabirds in the Southern Ocean. Biol. Consery. 15:5 9-7 1 . 
Address: A. J. Williams, FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700 

South Africa 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

2 1 3 [Bull.B.O.C. 19 So : 1 00(4) ] 

A new species of cotinga from southeastern Brazil 

by D.W. Snow 

Received 14 February 1980 

On 24 October 1942 Pedro de M. Britto, working for the Brazilian Servico 
de Estudos e Pesquisas Sobre a Febre Amarela, collected a cotinga near 
Teresopolis in the Serra dos Orgaos, in the State of Rio de Janeiro. The 
specimen, now in the collection of the Zoological Museum of the University 
of Sao Paulo, was identified as a Black-and-gold Cotinga Tijuca atra and placed 
with that species. It is a female and is quite similar to the female of Tijuca 
atra, though considerably smaller. In November 1972 Derek Goodwin and I 
noticed the specimen in the Sao Paulo collection, and later drew attention to 
its main peculiarities in our account of a field study of the Black-and-gold 
Cotinga (Snow & Goodwin 1974). Since then I have been able to re-examine 
the specimen, and through the kindness of Dr. H. F. de A. Camargo I was 
allowed to cut the end off one of its secondary feathers for analysis of its 
feather proteins and comparison with Tijuca atra and other cotingas. Since 
the result of this analysis, which has been carried out by Dr Alan Knox of 
Aberdeen University, shows that the bird is highly unlikely to be conspecific 
with Tijuca atra, it is appropriate that it should be named as a new species, 
as follows : 

Tijuca condita sp. nov. 
holotype: Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo, no. 33432, 
female, apparently adult, from Fazenda Guinle, Teresopolis, Rio de Janeiro, 
Brazil, approx. 22°27'S, 43°oo'W; collected by Pedro de M. Britto, 24 
October 1942. 

distribution : Known only from the type locality. 

description of holotype: Upper parts including upper wing-coverts olive- 
green, suffused with yellow on the rump, crown duller than rest of upper 
parts (cf. T. atra female, in which upper parts are uniform, less bright olive- 
green with no yellow wash on rump). Underparts mainly olive-yellow, 
greyer on throat and brighter yellow on belly and under tail-coverts ; under 
wing-coverts yellow (cf. T. atra female, in which underparts are less yellow 
throughout). Flight-feathers grey above, inner secondaries washed with 
olive-green, especially on outer edges; outer edges of all flight-feathers except 
inner secondaries pale blue-grey (cf. T. atra female, in which flight-feathers 
are all olive-green) ; primaries uniform grey below (not yellow-green at base 
of inner webs, as in T. atra). Tail grey, outer edges of feathers paler, some 
faintly washed with greenish (cf. T. atra female, in which the tail-feathers are 
all olive-green). Soft part colours: iris grey; bill and feet plumbeous ("olhos 
pardos; bico e pes plumbeos"). 

measurements of holotype: Wing chord 122 mm; tail 106 mm (all feathers 
of nearly equal length, outermost pair a little shorter than the others) ; tarsus 
26.5 mm; culmen from posterior margin of nostril 14.5 mm; bill depth at 
level of anterior margin of nostril 7 mm. Wing formula (as apparent in 
folded wing): p 7 is longest primary, p 8 very slightly shorter, p 6 1 mm 
shorter; p 6-8 form the wing-tip; p 5 and p 9 equal in length; p 10 falls a 
little short of p 1. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 214 

derivation of name: from Latin conditus, stored away, hidden; referring to 
the fact that the type specimen remained stored away and unrecognised for 30 
years after being collected. 

Table i 
Measurements of Tijuca condita and T. atra compared 

Tijuca condita ? Tijuca atra ? ? 

(type) (sample number in parentheses) 

Wing 122 140-146(10) 

Tail 106 114-119(7) 

Tarsus 26.5 29-30(6) 

Culmen 14.5 15.5-18(7) 

Bill-depth 7 9, 9.5 (2) 

Notes: Tarsus-length from intertarsal joint to last individed scute before toes. Culmen from 
posterior margin of nostril to tip. Bill-depth at level of anterior margin of nostrils. 


In external characters this new bird is close to Tijuca atra, but smaller 
in all measurements (Table 1). The wing-shape is very similar; the bill shape 
is similar except that the culmen is less arched; and the tarsal scutellation is 
similar. The plumage colours are sufficiently like those of the female of 
T. atra to have led to its original misidentification, although the grey wings 
and tail are perfectly distinctive. The broad, somewhat angular shapes of the 
tips of the secondaries and tail-feathers strongly suggest that the bird is in 
adult plumage. Its sex is confirmed by the collector's drawing of the ovary 
(measuring x 7 mm) on the label. The provisional allocation of the species 
to Tijuca thus seems reasonable on the basis of its external morphology. On 
zoogeographical grounds it is also reasonable, as T. atra, the only other 
member of the genus, is also a southeastern Brazilian montane endemic. 

Electrophoresis of reduced and carboxy methylated feather-proteins 
(JCMK) from a wide variety of species has revealed species-specific patterns 
in all the cases examined (Knox 1980). Subspecies are only very rarely 
distinguishable and even then the differences are slight (Knox, pers. comm.). 
There is apparently no polymorphism in JXDMK. Results from the analysis of 
cotinga feathers (Table 2) show that the ^CMK pattern from the new bird is 
quite different from that of Tijuca atra, the magnitude of the difference being 
consistent with what would be expected from two quite distinct species. The 
similarity value obtained (0.76) suggests that it is justifiable to treat the new 
bird and T. atra as congeneric provisionally, but that they are not very closely 

Table 2 

Electrophoretic similarity values (/) for ^CMK from Tijuca condita and 3 other cotinga 
species (see Knox (1980) for experimental details). Values of / vary 1 to o; where / = 1, 
the electrophoretic patterns are identical, where / = o, they are totally different 

Carpornis Lipaugus Tijuca 

cucullatus vocijerans atra 

Lipaugus vocijerans 0.52 

Tijuca atra 0.55 0.77 

Tijuca condita 0.50 0.65 0.76 

215 [BulLB.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

It is interesting that, whereas Carpornis cucullatus shows relatively low 
similarity values with the two Tijuca species and with Lipaugus vociferans 
(0.50-0.5 5), L. vociferans and Tijuca atra have a similarity value of 0.77, and 
jL. vociferans and T. condita a value of 0.65. This suggests the possibility that 
Tijuca and Lipaugus may not be very distantly related. In this connection it 
may be significant that two montane Lipaugus species in the Andes (cryptolo- 
phus and subalaris) are similar in general colouration to females of Tijuca, 
that one of them {subalaris') has a grey tail like T. condita, and that both 
Lipaugus vociferans and Tijuca atra have lek displays in which the males 
advertise themselves primarily by far-carrying calls. 

In October 1972, and again in November 1979, 1 spent several days study- 
ing cotingas and other forest birds in the Serra dos Orgaos, and a number of 
other ornithologists have watched birds in the same area in recent years. 
Nobody has reported any Tjuca-like bird apart from T. atra. The Fazenda 
Guinle, where Tijuca condita was collected, was a large property, now broken 
up, which included part of what is now the town of Teresopolis, at an 
altitude of about 800 m, and parts of what is now the Serra dos Orgaos 
National Park, at altitudes of 900 m and upwards. The upper limit of forest 
is at about 2000 m and the highest peak is about 2260 m. There is no record 
of the altitude at which the specimen was collected, but two considerations 
suggest that Tijuca condita may be a bird of high-altitude forest and that the 
unique specimen may either have been collected high up or, if not, may have 
been a straggler from a higher altitude. First, the upper parts of the forest 
of the Serra dos Orgaos are comparatively difficult of access and much less 
time must have been spent there than in the lower parts by observers com- 
petent to detect a new species ; and secondly, bird species occurring at lower 
altitudes in the southeastern Brazilian mountains generally have wider 
geographical ranges than those confined to high altitudes. Tijuca atra, for 
example, is one of the species that is confined to high altitudes and it has one 
of the most limited ranges of all southeastern Brazilian endemics. 

The rediscovery of the new Tijuca, and especially of the unknown male, 
should be a challenge to anyone who has the opportunity to do field work in 
the Serra dos Orgaos. If it is a high-altitude species it is unlikely to be extinct, 
since much undisturbed forest remains in the higher parts of the Serra; but 
on the less likely assumption that it is, or was, a bird of the lower-level 
forests of which only remnants now exist, its survival must be more doubtful. 

Acknowledgements: I am most grateful to Dr. H. F. de A. Camargo for giving me all 
facilities in examining the type specimen of Tijuca condita in Sao Paulo and especially for 
allowing me to remove part of a feather; and to Dr. Alan Knox of Aberdeen University for 
carrying out the electrophoretic analysis and for help in preparing this account. Sr. Dante L. 
Martins Teixeira kindly provided much practical help in the field during my 1979 visit to 

References : 

Knox, A. G. 1980. Feather protein as a source of avian taxonomic information. Comp. 

Biochem. Physiol. 65B: 45-54. 
Snow, D. W. & Goodwin, D. 1974. The Black-and-gold Cotinga. Auk 91: 360-369. 

Address: Dr. D. W. Snow, British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Hertfordshire, 
United Kingdom. 

© Britis h Ornithologists' Club. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 216 

A mass-migration of Rollers Coracias garrulus in Somalia 
by J. S. Ash and J. E. Miskell 

Received 23 February 1980 

Observations on large assemblages of Rollers Coracias garrulus in Africa have 
been summarised by Moreau (1972), including accounts of large feeding 
concentrations and of high densities of wintering birds, but with no indica- 
tion that the species may migrate en masse. The following account of a migra- 
tion of large numbers of Rollers seen by us in spring in southern Somalia 
is therefore of interest, and would seem to be the first published account of 
such a phenomenon. 

On 13 April 1979 we travelled slowly by road from Mogadishu (2°o3 / N, 
45°22'E) through Balad (2°22'N, 45^5 'E) on the Webi Shebelli to Jiohar 
(2°46'N, 45°3i'E). The first indication of Roller activity was of 4 birds 
crossing the road in an easterly direction at Balad at 0900, followed shortly 
afterwards by 2 more. At 13 km north of Balad there were c. 100 Rollers, 
together with c. 100 migrant falcons of 4 species {tinnunculus , naumanni, 
amurensis and subbuteo), hawking for late termites over thick bush. 

A few kilometres further north there were more Rollers, and then at 25 km 
north of Balad the sky was "full" of them at midday. It was hot and sunny 
with about half the sky covered with broken cloud, but at a distance in the 
east there was a heavy rainstorm with lightning from a mass of black cloud. 
The wind was easterly and light. From where we stood, apparently on the 
northern edge of the flight, we saw immense numbers of Rollers, all flying 
steadily E.N.E. at all altitudes from c. 100 m up to the limit of visibility with 
the naked eye. Through binoculars birds were in undiminished numbers to 
the W.S.W. for an estimated 5 km, although it later became obvious that 
they extended further. 

We gained the distinct impression of a column of birds 5 000 m or more in 
width and some 500 m in depth. Estimating their numbers was difficult, for 
the birds were not in flocks, but spread out almost uniformly and more or 
less equidistant from each other within the column. We had no time to make 
long series of accurate counts for we were anxious to establish the extent of 
the Roller passage, as well as to check on an unprecedented movement, for 
Somalia, of falcons and grounded night-migrants (notably Lesser Grey 
Shrikes Lamus minor). We estimated the numbers of birds in an "arc of 
visibility" (between the northern edge of the column and a line at right 
angles across the column) from a point along its northern edge. We judged 
we could see birds for 5000 m, and that their ground speed was 48 km/hour. 
Our 4 counts provided totals ranging from 2000 to 1 5 ,000 birds. We were 
aware that much of our calculation was based inevitably on supposition, 
but concluded that a minimum of 10,000 birds passed in this half hour. 

Mixed with the Rollers were several loose parties of small falcons, a few 
unidentified swifts, and many Swallows Hirundo rustica, some of which flew 
in compact groups at altitudes of over 100 m, though others were skimming 
along at near ground level. 

We proceeded further north towards Jiohar, and during the next 2-3 
hours the wind increased from the east, which may have drifted the Roller 
passage westwards. During this period passage continued apparently unabated, 
but possibly at reduced strength. Gradually we moved away from the 

2i 7 [Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(4)] 

birds and on our return through the area in the late afternoon none was seen. 

Unfortunately we do not know when the movement started but the first 
birds we saw were at 0900. During the period when we were actually 
observing them on migration, we judged that 40-50,000 Rollers flew over. 
If the passage was equally intense earlier in the morning then double these 
numbers may have been involved. 

The existing knowledge concerning the status of the Roller in Africa is 
discussed in detail by Moreau (1972). Practically the entire Palaearctic 
population overwinters in Africa, confined largely to the east and south 
below the equator. Even though he says that Rollers are numerous in 
Somalia, where more were seen in autumn than spring, there are still rather 
few records (Archer & Godman 1961, Bannerman 1910, Heuglin 1869-1874, 
Phillips 1896, Moltoni 1936, Salvadori 1894). Only Heuglin mentions large 
numbers (hundreds at Zeila (n°2i'N, 43°28'E) in October), and there 
seem to be only 2 previous spring occurrences, in early April and on 1 1 May, 
and both in the north. During 2 springs and 2 autumns in 1 978-1 980, we 
ourselves saw 13 Rollers in the southern part of the country in autumn 
(8 October-24 December), and in spring besides the large movement on 
13 April, we saw 25 flying E.N.E. the next day south of Balad, and three 
single birds in Central Somalia, 28 April- 1 May 1979. We did not see any in 
the western half of northern Somalia in May 1979, but in 1980 we counted 
12 birds, all singly except 2 once, during 22 April-14 May, in central Somalia 
and the eastern half of the north. We particularly looked out for any sign of a 
large scale diurnal passage in the northeast, but failed to detect any. The wide 
scattering of single birds suggested a broad-front migration over this area, 
but the extreme aridity of the land after a long period without rain resulted 
in a largely inhospitable environment for Rollers, and would be unlikely 
to attract large numbers. 

Some birds overwinter in the more southerly part of the country. On 3 
days, 9-1 1 January 1980, 29 were scattered in the lower Juba and lower 
Shebelli River valleys, and a little later a further 4 during 21-24 February, 
the most northerly being at Far Sarey (1 °oi 'N, 43 °22 'E) on the Shebelli. 

Moreau mentions 2 other points relevant to the present discussion. First 
that it can be inferred that "birds accumulate fat for the spring migration 
at very low latitudes and make a continuous flight from the neighbourhood 
of the equator"; and secondly that Rollers collect into loose flocks, each bird 
in sight of another when on migration. Whether or not birds accumulate 
fat at low latitudes remains to be demonstrated, but would seem to be highly 
likely. Diurnal migration in a loose flock, such as that described above would 
enable a great many birds to exploit any available food sources, such as 
swarming termites, found along the migratory route, since not only is an 
area searched that is very much greater than would be the case if the birds 
were in dense flocks, but also a quest for airborne insects is more likely to 
be successful for individuals if they are well spaced out at all altitudes. Any 
one bird finding food would be visible to its neighbours, each of which would 
attract the attention of more distant birds, producing an effect similar to that 
when vultures are attracted to a corpse. We consider that this type of migratory 
flocking may be a special adaptation in the case of Rollers to enable them to 
find food whilst on passage. 

It is not so surprising that a mass-migration of Rollers could have passed 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(4)] 218 

unnoticed previously in Somalia. The country is poorly known ornitho- 
logically, and even if it were not so, the chances are slim of someone being 
present somewhere along what may be a narrow zone of concentration for 
the main movement of birds. Passage may be completed in only a few days, so 
that the period of time in which the birds could be seen would be very limited. 

Brown & Brown (1973) have estimated that the overwintering population 
of Rollers in eastern Kenya may be in the region of 2-3 million birds, but 
that their numbers fluctuate greatly from year to year. However, this area 
is at the northern edge of their winter range, so that the main bulk of the 
Palaearctic population must be further south. In all, there must be many 
millions of birds whose breeding range extends across Europe and Asia as 
far as 75 °E. Most of them, therefore, have to head for breeding quarters 
lying between north and northeast of where they overwinter. The flight 
direction of birds passing over Somalia is thus somewhat puzzling. If on a 
constant heading they must previously have been over the arid country of 
northern Kenya, and shortly afterwards would have crossed the Somalia 
coast to face an immense great circle course journey over the northern 
Indian ocean towards southern India. This seems highly improbable (in 
April) during the North East Monsoon. Alternatively, on reaching the 
coast they may turn northeastwards, and by doing so could reach Cape 
Guardafui and a much shorter, though still long ocean crossing towards the 
Bay of Bengal and the more easterly, and by far the largest, sector of their 
breeding range. However, this is merely speculation, and it is perhaps more 
probable that the birds we saw were either merely diverted towards the large 
rainstorms to seek airborne insects in the upwelling of air ahead of the rain, 
or were compensating for some earlier disorientation caused by adverse 
weather further south. 

Whichever route they follow in spring, and Moreau suggests there may be 
a passage both ways across the northern Indian ocean, it is possible that it 
may be used by large concentrations of birds on a narrow front, and for this 
reason it should be easier to detect if its path is ever crossed. 

Acknowledgement : To Dr. J. F. Monk, for his valuable comments and editorial help, our 
best thanks. 

References : 

Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1961. The Birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden. Vol. 3. 

Edinburgh & London: Oliver & Boyd. 
Bannerman, D. S. 1910. On a collection of birds made in northern Somaliland by Mr. G. W. 

Bury. Ibis 1910: 291-327. 
Brown, L. H. & Brown, B. E. 1973. The relative numbers of migrants and resident Rollers 

in eastern Kenya. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 93 : 126-1 30. 
Heuglin, M. TH. 1 869-1 874. Ornithologie Nordost-Afrikas, der Nilquellenund Kusten-Gebiete 

des Rothen Meeres und des Nordlichen Somal-landes. Cassel : Fischer. 
Moltoni, E. 1936. Gli ucelli fino ad oggi notificati per la Somalia italiana. Atti della Soc. 

Ital. di Science Naturalij^ : 307-389. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. London: Academic Press. 
Phillips, E. L. 1896. On birds observed in the Golis Mountains in Northern Somaliland. 

Ibis 1896: 62-87. 
Salvadori, T. 1894. Uccelli del Somali Raccotti da D. Eugenio dei Principi Ruspoli. Mem. 

R. Accad. Sci. Torino, (2), 44: 547-564. 

Addresses: Dr. J. S. Ash, Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, U.S.A. 
J. E. Miskell, P.O. Box 24, Mogadishu, Somalia. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

Growth and plumage changes of the 

Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum gibbericeps 

by D. E. Pomeroy 

Received 1 March 1980 

In his review of the African crowned cranes, Balearica, Walkinshaw (1964) 
recognised 2 species B. pavonina and B. regulorum. B. r. gibbericeps is the form 
found in Tanzania and throughout Uganda and Kenya except for the far 
north and, according to Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952) also in Zambia, 
Malawi and Angola. Subsequently Snow (1978) placed all African crowned 
cranes in pavonina; but Brown et al. (in press), on the basis of both field 
observation and skins, retain both species. For simplicity, I have employed 
the term Crowned Crane, unless otherwise specified, to mean G. r. gibbericeps. 
Between 1970 and 1973 I obtained 7 Crowned Cranes of various ages in 
southern Uganda. Three young birds were reared in captivity for periods of 

Fig. 1. 

Fig. 1 . Weights of 5 young and 4 adult Crowned 
Cranes Balearica regulorum. Britton's (1970) 2 
birds were from Kenya. The curve was fitted 
by eye. Note that age is represented on a 
logarithmic scale. 


A — young c. 7 weeks old when obtained. 
B = same as A. 

C = young c. 4 weeks old when obtained. 
D, E = young c. 2 days old, both dying 2 

days later. 
X, Z and Britton's (1970) birds were adults. 

(above, right) 

Fig. 2. Tarsal lengths of 5 young and 2 adult 
Crowned Cranes Balearica regulorum, together 
with published data. Symbols as for Fig. 1. 

Fig. 2. 

Fig. 3. Wing-lengths of 5 young 
Crowned Cranes Balearica regulorum 
and a number of adult Crowned 
Cranes. Symbols as for Fig. 1. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

(note (a)) 

3 4 6 






feathered, buff 

iy white feathers 

bare skin (note (b)) 

spiky, golden-buff 

2 5 6 8 9 

upper black, lower partly horn-coloured 

spiral buff feathers with black tips 







__ — both mondibles black 
5-8 5-9 6-1 


fawn, darker dorsolly 

— — pale brown 

_ — grey replaces buff dorsally, 
then ventrally from posterior 


pale blue 

grey, with plumes 













grey with buff tips, buff 

feathers persisting longest posteriorly 
fown - dorker d °l soll L- dark grey with 


buff tips — — — 

145 170 175 175 

grey (note(c)) 

grey (note(c)) 

180 180 
block, glossed green 

inner black, remainder with chestnut and black, black 

all except inner 

reducing with age (note(d)) 
white with buff tips 

3 entirely 

white (note (e)) 

white, with varying 
amounts of grey and buff — 

inner 6-8, golden plumes (note(f)) 

black, glossed green 


Table I 
Changes with age (in months) in the appearance of young Crowned Cranes Balearica 
regulorum (see Fig. i). Measurements are in cm. There was some individual variation and 
the data are only approximate with respect to age. Details of moult were not recorded. 


(a) Walkinshaw (1964) gives a detailed description of the South African Crowned Crane 

B. r. regulorum at hatching. 

(b) In the adult, there are bright red patches above and below the white face. Mackworth- 
Praed & Grant (1952) and Walkinshaw (1964) mention only the upper patch. The red 
patches are preceeded by pink, noticeably paler in the field at 12 months, and in 
captives up to 18-20 months. 

(c) Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1952) describe the "general colour" as black, but this is 
not so, although posteriorly the grey is darker. 

221 [BulLB.O.C. 19S0: 100(4)] 

(d) In the adult, the outermost one or two secondaries resemble primaries in appearance, 
the next two or three have inner webs black, and the exposed parts of the remainder 
are all chestnut, but with black bases. The innermost two or three secondaries are 

(e) In the adult, all under- wing coverts are completely white. 

(f ) This increases to about 15 in the adult, the proximal parts being white with a normal 

(g) Brown et al. (in press) give mean tail-lengths of 24 cm and bill-lengths of 6. 3 cm for 
adults of various races. 

up to 23 months (Figs. 1-3). Their ages when first obtained were judged from 
the opinions of several Ugandans who were familiar with young Crowned 
Cranes in the wild; their independent estimates were averaged, but in any 
ease were in close agreement. The birds were kept in a large aviary and fed 
mainly on groundnuts, supplemented with a variety of other foods, especially 
insects, of which they were particularly fond (Clarke & Amedei 1969; 
Pomeroy 1980). No attempt was made to tame them. 

Growth of young birds 

Typically, weight increase follows a sigmoid curve. Ricklefs (1973) gives 
several methods of determining a growth-constant Kg which relates weight 
to time, and is a characteristic of the particular species. When a curve was 
fitted by eye to the data of Fig. 1 , and weights at various ages estimated from 
it, the rate of growth was found to decrease with age, namely at 10-30 days 
Kg = 0.0440, at 30-100 days Kg = 0.0133, at 100-300 days Kg = 0.0047 
and at 300-1000 days K G = 0.0014. Taking values from the curve, the 
weight of the young at 100 days (Fig. 1) was only half the average weight of 
the 4 adults; whereas tarsal length (Fig. 2) was about 95% and wing-length 
(Fig. 3) 85% of the adult values. Relatively faster tarsal growth is to be 
expected in a nidifugous species living in long grass, and indeed the young 
are noticeably "long-legged". The wing-length is only slightly higher than 
would be expected from the weight on a basis of proportionality 0.8 5 3 = 
0.61). Growth of bill, tail, wing-span and crest were also slow (Table 1), 
only approaching adult dimensions at an age of 1 2-20 months. 

Judging from their locomotory behaviour, the young captives were 
probably capable of flight by an age of about 100 days. This agrees with 
Walkinshaw's (1964) observations on wild B. r. regulorum. In Uganda, there 
were several occasions when I saw flying young that were noticeably smaller 
than their parents. 

The appearance of the young changes progressively with age (Table 1). In 
the field, they are distinguishable from adults up to 12 months old (Table 
2.b), when the adult face patterning is apparent though not fully-developed. 
The adult eye-colour and the full red of upper and lower face-patches and 
neck wattle are not attained until 20-24 months, but only exceptional views 
enable these characters to be distinguished in the field. 

Changes in plumage result, of course, from growth, wear and moult of 
feathers. Moult sequences of young Bakarica were not reported by Stresemann 
& Stresemann (1966) and they are apparently unknown. The young bird 
retains its cryptic appearance until nearly 2 months old, when the white wing 
coverts first appear, but these are relatively inconspicuous until after the 
young can fly. The flight feathers of the immature resemble those of the 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 222 

adult by the age of 3 months, but the decorative golden plumes of the inner 
secondary coverts, and the grey ones of the neck, only begin to appear at 
around 12 months, whilst even at 20 months the face and iris lack the full 
colours of the adult. 


The growth-rate of young B. r. regulorum is slow, despite an initial rate com- 
parable to that of other nidifugous birds of similar size (Ricklefs 1973); they 
take about 2 years to reach full adult size. The Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis 
of North America maintains its initial growth-rate, so that by an age of 4-5 
months its weight is 91% that of adults (Miller & Hatfield 1974), whereas 
Crowned Cranes of that age had attained less than 60% of the adult weight. 
This difference may be attributed to the greater need of the Sandhill Crane 
for rapid growth, since unlike the Crowned Crane it is migratory. 

The fact that crowned cranes also take about 2 years to achieve adult 
plumage is not surprising for a large species which is probably at least 3 years 
old when it first breeds (Sandhill Cranes are thought not to breed before the 
age of 4 — Miller 1973). However, whereas most species have one or more 
distinctive juvenile plumages, usually separated by moults, the development 
of the adult plumage in Crowned Cranes is a continuous process, but lacking 
synchrony between the different parts of the body. 

The use of plumage details in distinguishing different races of B. regulorum 
needs further investigation. Walkinshaw (1964: 361) doubted whether 
gibbericeps should be separated from regulorum, but Crowned Cranes are non- 
migratory and some geographic variability is to be expected. An example of 
minor geographic variation is the occurrence of red patches between the 
white of the face. The lower red patch was observed on all birds in Uganda 
which were examined closely, but is not reported for Crowned Cranes in 
Kenya, although a bird which I observed in 1972 at Lake Naivasha, in 
south central Kenya, had a pink patch below the white, which suggests that 
it was either an intermediate form, or an immature of the Ugandan type (see 
Table 1). 

Acknowledgements: Benny Wanjala helped me to obtain young Crowned Cranes, and he 
and several other Makerere students assisted in their feeding and maintenance. Peter 
Britton, Leslie Brown, G. R. Cunningham-van Someren and Bob Ricklefs kindly gave me 
their comments on a draft of the paper. 

References : 

Britton, P. L. 1970. Some non-passerine bird weights from East Africa. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 

90: 142-144, 152-154. 
Brown, L., Newman, K. & Urban, E. In press. Birds of Africa. Vol. 1. Academic Press: 

Clarke, H. W. & Amadei, L. 1969. Breeding in captivity of the Black-necked Crowned 

Crane. Avicultural Magazine 75 : 37-39. 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1952. Birds of Eastern and North-Eastern Africa. 

Vol. 1. Longmans: London. 
Miller, R. S. 1973. The brood size of Cranes. The Wilson Bull. 85 : 436-441. 
Miller, R. S. & Hatfield, J. P. 1974. Age ratios of Sandhill Cranes./. Wildlife Management 

Pomeroy, D. E. 1980. Aspects of the ecology of Crowned Cranes Balearica regulorum in 

Uganda. Scopus 4 : 29-3 5 . 
Ricklefs, R. E. 1973. Patterns of growth in birds. II. Growth rate and mode of development. 

Ibis 115 : 177-201. 

223 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

Snow, D. W. (Ed.) 1978. An Atlas of Speciation in African Non-passerine Birds. Trustees of 

the British Museum : London. 
Stresemann, E. & Stresemann, V. 1966. Die Mauser derVogel./. Orn. 107: 1-445. 
Walkinshaw, L. H. 1964. The African Crowned Cranes. Wilson Bull. 76 : 3 5 5-377. 

Address: Dr. D. E. Pomeroy, Department of Zoology, Kenyatta University College, P.O. 
Box 43844, Nairobi, Kenya. 

© British Ornithologists' Club . 

On the Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon 
Treron sphenura etorques of Sumatra 

by Carlo Violani 

. Received 7 March 1980 

Historical notes 

In 1879, describing the birds of Sumatra, Tommaso Salvadori examined 
3 male specimens of a Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon "Sphenocercus korthalsii 
(S. Mull.)?" which had been obtained and sexed by the Italian explorer 
Odoardo Beccari on Mount Singgalan (o° 24' S. ioo° 20' E), West Sumatra, 
during the previous year. Salvadori noticed that all 3 birds were lacking 
the rufous-orange breast band of q* korthalsi of Java; therefore, relying on 
Beccari's signed indication of sex on their labels, he proposed the name of 
Sphenocercus etorques for this "different species, perhaps a new one" (Sal- 
vadori 1879: 244). He also remarked that Sumatra was wrongly claimed as 
a type locality for korthalsi by both C. L. Bonaparte (in addition to "Malasia") 
and G. R. Gray, the latter being probably misled by 2 orange-breasted male 
specimens in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) (BMNH), erroneously labelled 
"Sumatra" and received from Leyden Museum (see Discussion). 

By 1893, however, Salvadori had changed his mind, as, in Cat. Birds Brit. 
Mus. 21: 11, under the species "Sphenocercus korthalsii", he wrote: "The 
specimens in Beccari's collection from Mt. Singalane, W. Sumatra (S. etor- 
ques Salvad.), were most probably not fully adult birds. Hab. Java and Su- 

Since then, as far as I know, the matter has never been raised again: 
Sph. etorques Salvad. is listed as a synonym of korthalsi Bp. by Robinson & 
Kloss (1918: 103-104), by Chasen (1935: n) and is completely ignored in 
Peters' Volume 3 (1937). However, after examination of the available 
museum skin material, I believe it justified to re-propose the name Treron 
sphenura etorques (Salvadori) for the Sumatran taxon. (Reasons for merging 
the genus Sphenurus Swainson i$$j=Sphenocercus G. R. Gray 1840 into 
Treron, given by Husain, are summarized by Goodwin (1970 : 297).) 

Soon after their description, the Salvadori syntypes — 3 fully adult $$ in- 
deed — found their way into the richest Italian bird collections of the time. 
Two of them, Beccari's Nos. 24 and 113, went to Genoa Museum of Natural 
History, where they are still preserved as skins today. The first bears the 
following (translated) notes written by Beccari from the freshly killed bird, 
on the back of its label: "Iris bright blue; base of bill, same [colour]; feet 
coral. Eats Melastoma fruit.". 

The third specimen, Beccari's No. 10, was acquired by Count Ercole 
Turati of Milan, whose splendid ornithological collection was bequeathed, 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(4)] 224 

after his death in 1881, to the Civic Museum of Natural History, Milan. 
During the night of 13/14 August 1943, an air raid started the great fire 
which destroyed the Milan Museum and most of the scientific material which 
had not yet been removed to safety, the etorques syntype unfortunately 
amongst it. 

A revision of the ornithological collections in the Genoa Museum for 
the preparation of the Bird Type Catalogue by Arbocco, Capocaccia & 
Violani (1979) reopened the question again. Thanks to the great experience 
of Derek Goodwin and to the kindness of the scientific staff of both Genoa 
Museum and the BMNH, it was possible to examine and compare one of 
the two extant Salvadori syntypes (MSNG C.E. 9661) with the available 
o* material at Tring (10 August 1979). The same Salvadori syntype was 
examined a few weeks later by Dr. G. F. Mees of Leyden Museum, where a 
further^ bird from Sumatra was also traced. In October 1979 I was able to 
study a sixth specimen from Sumatra in the American Museum of Natural 
History (AMNH), New York. 


Male specimens of Treron sphenura korthalsi from Java are relatively well 
represented in the BMNH collection at Tring, while the AMNH possesses 
only 2 individuals, one from Java and one from Lombok Island; they all 
show a conspicuous rufous-orange breast band and reddish-cinnamon 
undertail coverts, e.g. BMNH 1927.4. 18. 19, from W. Java. The orange- 
breasted specimen "B. Mus. N.18", also at Tring, although labelled "Su- 
matra" is undoubtedly a korthalsi from Java and it is to be identified as one 
of the 2 birds listed by Gray (Salvadori 1879: 244) which were received in 
exchange from Leyden Museum; the other specimen is no longer in the same 
collection. It was on the basis of this mislabelling that confusion about 
korthalsi 's true distribution range started. 

Although based on only 6 individuals from Genoa, Leyden, Tring and 
New York Museums, $$ from Sumatra apparently show constant features in 
their colouring : the orange breast band is always lacking (the Latin "etor- 
ques" means "without a collar") and the undertail coverts always have a 
reddish-cinnamon tinge. In 2 specimens, BMNH 1920.6.29.30 and AMNH 
548150, the breast plumage has a very faint golden-green wash. These dif- 
ferences are enough to restore the name Treron sphenura etorques. 

Treron sphenura robinsoni, from the Malayan Peninsula, was described 
by Ogilvie-Grant in 1906. Judging from the 3 £$ at Tring (an adult syn- 
type and 2 "less adult" paratypes, not perfectly prepared), this subspecies 
lacks the orange breast band as well, and can be kept (temporarily) separated 
from etorques on the ground of its general greyer-green hue and of the dif- 
ferent colouring of the undertail coverts, which are a pale, straw-like yellow, 
washed with cinnamon. 

Measurements of all the material examined do not seem to show a sig- 
nificant range of variation; in particular, tail measurements taken from old 
museum specimens are not always reliable, due to the technical difficulty 
of reaching the insertion of the rectrices among the thick rump plumage, 
without damaging the skin. However, it must be stressed that a greater 
number of specimens is desirable for a satisfactory study, besides, obviously, 
much more ecological and ethological observation of these taxa in vivo. 

225 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

In conclusion, if robinsoni has been kept racially (and reasonably) distinct, 
there is even stronger reason for separating etorques from korthalsi; however, 
judging at least from the scarce material now available, it is not possible to 
state definitely the subspecific differences which exist between etorques and 
robinsoni; should they be subspecifically equated, then etorques Salvadori 1879 
should have priority over robinsoni Ogilvie-Grant 1906. 

Material examined : 

Treron sphenura etorques (Salvadori) 
Civico Museo di Storia Naturale "G. Doria", Genoa, Italy. 

1) adult (5, Mt. Singgalan, Bella Vista, W. Sumatra,, collected by O. Beccari 
(Beccari's No. 24), MSNG C.E. 9661. Culmen from skull: 22; wing: 163; tarsus: 26; tail: 
129 mm. 

2) adult (5, Mr. Singgalan, Bella Vista, W. Sumatra, 9.viii.i878, coll. O. Beccari (Beccari's 
No. 113), MSNG C.E. 9662. Culmen from skull: 21 (tip of bill damaged); wing: 162; 
tarsus : 26 ; tail : 1 24 mm. 

Note: Both birds are syntypes of Sphenocercus etorques Salvadori 1879. Measurements of this 
form given by Salvadori (1879) consist of an average number calculated from 3 specimens, 
one of which is now lost (see text). 

British Museum {Nat. Hist.). 

3) adult^, Korinchi Peak, Sumatra, 4.V.1914, coll. H. C. Robinson & C. B. Kloss; BMNH 

1920.6. 29. 18. Culmen from skull: 20-5 ; wing: 172; tarsus: 26; tail: 102mm. 

4) adult^, Korinchi Peak, Sumatra, 3.V.1914, coll. H. C. Robinson & C. B. Kloss; BMNH 
1920.6.29.20. Culmen from skull : 22; wing: 165-5; tarsus: 26; tail: 103 mm. 

Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie, Ley den, The Netherlands. 

5) adult (5, Goeneng Dempo, c. 3000 m, Pasemah-landen, Palembang, Sumatra, xi.1918, 
coll. C. J. Batenburg; Cat. no. 4 (reg. no. 5245). Culmen from skull: 22; wing: 167; tarsus: 
24; tail: 103 mm. Note: unsexed specimen, but doubtless <$, as it shows purplish-brown 
inner- wing coverts. 

American Museum of Natural History. 

6) adult ,5, Korinchi Peak, Sumatra, 10,000 ft., 5^.1914, coll. H. C. Robinson & C. B. 
Kloss; AMNH 548 150 ex Rothschild Collection. Culmen from skull: 20; wing: 165 ; tarsus: 
25 ; tail: 148 mm. 

Treron sphenura korthalsi (Bp.) 
British Museum {Nat. History). 

1) adult (5, Handang Badak, Gede, W. Java, 4.iii.i9i6, coll. H. C. Robinson; BMNH 

1927.4. 1 8. 19. Culmen from skull : 20; wing: 171-5 ; tarsus: 25; tail: 118 mm. 

2) adult (5, locality "Sumatra" on label, ex Coll. Leyden Museum; N.18 B. Mus. Culmen 
from skull: 21; wing: 167; tarsus: 24-5; tail: 114 mm. 

American Museum of Natural History . 

3) adult $, Mt. Gedeh, 4000 ft., Java, Jan. 1898, coll. E. Prillwitz; AMNH 548153 ex 
Rothschild Collection. Culmen from skull: 21 (tip of bill damaged); wing: 174; tarsus: 28; 
tail: 151 mm. 

4) adult^, Lombok Island, Rindjani Bendera, 4000 ft., May 1896, coll. A. Everett; AMNH 
548154. Culmen from skull : 21; wing: 165 ; tarsus: 25 ; tail: 154mm. 

Treron sphenura robinsoni (Ogilvie-Grant) 
British Museum {Nat. Hist.) 

1) adult<5, Gunong Tahan, 3300 ft., Malay Peninsula, 2.VL1905, coll. H. C. Robinson; 
BMNH 1906.7.23.366. Culmen from skull: 20; wing: 173; tarsus: 23; tail: 105 mm. 

2) "less adult male specimen" (O.-Grant, 1906), Gunong Tahan, Malay Peninsula,, 
coll. H. C. Robinson; BMNH 1906.7.23.368. Culmen from skull: 21; wing: 173-5; tarsus: 
22; tail: 102 mm. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 226 

3) "less adult male specimen" (O. -Grant, 1906), Gunong Tahan, Malay Peninsula, 8^.1905, 
coll. H. C. Robinson; BMNH 1906.7.23.369. Oilmen from skull: 21-5 ; wing: 164-5 ; tarsus: 
22-5 ; tail: 105 mm. 

Note: The first of these 3 birds is the $ syntype of Sphenocercus robinsoni Ogilvie-Grant 
1906; the following 2, also mentioned in the original description, are to be considered 
para types. 

Acknowledgements: I am particularly indebted to Derek Goodwin (BMNH) for his invaluable 
help and assistance during my visit to Tring and for his useful comments on the draft of 
this paper. I am also grateful to Dr. G. F. Mees, for providing me with details about the 
etorques specimen in Leyden Museum, and to the Scientific Staff of Tring, Genoa and New 
York Museums, for kindly granting me access to their material during my studies. 

References : 

Arbocco, G., Capocaccia, L. & Violani, C. 1979. Catalogo dei Tipi di Uccelli del Museo 
Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova. Ann. Mus. Civ. St. Nat. Genova 82: 184-265. 

Chasen, F. N. 193 5 . A Handlist of Malaysian Birds. Bull. Raffles Mus., Singapore 1 1 . 

Goodwin, D. 1970. Pigeons and Doves of the World. Brit. Mus. Nat. Hist. 2nd Edn: London. 

Ogilvie-Grant, W. R. 1906. Description of new Malayan birds. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 19: 9-12. 

Robinson, H. C. & Kloss, C. B. 19 18. Results of an Expedition to Korinchi Peak, Su- 
matra. Part II. Vertebrates : Birds. Journ. Fed. Malay. St. Mus. 7 : 81-284. 

Salvadori, T. 1879. Catalogo di una collezione di uccelli fatta nella parte occidentale di 
Sumatra dal Prof. Odoardo Beccari. Ann. Mus. Civ. St. Nat. Genova 14: 169-253. 

Salvadori, T. 1893. Catalogue of the Birds in the Collections of the British Museum. Vol. 21: 
Columbae, or Pigeons. London. 

Postscriptum: Dr. S. Somadikarta, of Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense (MZB), Bogor, 
Indonesia, kindly informs me (9 November 1980) that " in the collection of MZB there is 
a pair of S. etorques collected by J. J. Mendon from Mt. Dempo (1800m), SW Sumatra, on 12 
July 1936. These specimens were, wrongly, labelled as S. korthalsi. The adult <$ specimen 
from Mt. Dempo (MZB No. 15508) does not show the orange-rufaus collar, and the measure- 
ments (in mm) are: wing 160, tail 103, bill 17, and tarsus 22." 

Address: Dr. Carlo Violani, Istituto di Ecologia Animale ed Etologia, Universita degli 
Studi, Pavia 27100, Italy. Present address: Dept. of Zoology, Nelson Biol. Lab., Rutgers 
University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903 U.S.A. 

© British Ornithologist's Club. 

A new subspecies of Halcyon chloris from an isolated 
population in eastern Arabia 

by Graham S. Cowles 

Received ij March 1980 

In March 1971, accompanied by Major M. D. Gallagher, I visited a coastal 
area of eastern Arabia called Khawr Kalba (also spelt Khor Kelba) which is 
between the villages of Kalba to the north and Murair to the south, on the 
Batinah coast in Sharjah State, United Arab Emirates, close to the border of 
the Sultanate of Oman (Fig. i,C). The area has been mainly formed by the 
delta of the Wadi Rumh and is comprised of sand and alluvial mud which 
supports mangrove swamps at the edges of small inlets close to the sea shore. 
Here we observed several kingfishers in the mangroves, which at the time 
appeared similar to the White-collared Kingfisher Halcyon chloris abyssinica. 
Two specimens were collected and preserved as study skins, and are now in 
the British Museum (Nat. Hist.), Tring. 

22 7 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4]) 

Fig. 1. Distribution of the Halcyon chloris subspecies nearest to Arabia. A-B, abyssinica 
(coast at, and between, Suakin and Zeila). C, kalbaensis (Khawr Kalba, Arabia). D, vidali 
(Ratnagiri district, Konkan, India). 

Halcyon chloris was first reported from Arabia by Stanford in 1973, 19 
years after Meinertzhagen (1954) wrote 'It is remarkable that no race of 
H. chloris occurs in Arabia'. The kingfisher, a $, was actually collected in 
January 1962 by Lt. Col. W. Stanford, from a mangrove swamp, thought at 
first to be at Murair but later corrected to Khawr Kalba, the same locality 
which Gallagher and I visited 9 years later. Stanford's single specimen, 
now in the B.M. (N.H.), Tring, is similar to and was originally considered 
to be H. chloris abyssinica, & subspecies with a very restricted distribution along 
part of the Red Sea west coast (Fig. 1, A-B), from Suakin south to Zeila on 
the western coast of the Gulf of Aden (Peters 1945, Archer & Godman 1961). 
It is perhaps vagrant to southern Somalia and Kenya (Fry 1978), although 
this latter record is now in some doubt. With the addition of 2 further 
specimens from Khawr Kalba, certain constant differences are now evident 
between the White-collared kingfishers of the Red Sea population and those 
of eastern Arabia, enough to warrant separating them into 2 subspecies. 

Halcyon chloris kalbaensis subsp. nov. 

Holotype. Adult <£, collected 24 March 1971 by G. S. Cowles (collector's 
number GG181), at Khawr Kalba (2 5°oi 'N, 56°22'E), Sharjah State, United 
Arab Emirates, eastern Arabia. B.M. (N.H.) reg. no. 1977. 18.9. 

Description. Similar to H.c. abyssinica but differs in having a well defined 
white superciliary stripe extending from the sides of the forehead to above 
and past the eye. Above the ear coverts the white superciliary is suffused with 
blue-tipped feathers, giving a streaked area of light blue-green and white. 

[Bull.B.O.C. ipSo: 100(4)] 


After progressing along the side of the head the superciliary joins the white 
based feathers of the nape, above the black nuchal band. Bill smaller than 
abyssinica. The black of the lores is noticeably less in area than that of 
abyssinica, almost to the point of being absent. The upper tail coverts and 
rump are more blue-green than the blue of H. c. abyssinica and H. c. vidali. 

Measurements. Table 1 indicates an overlap in the wing and tail measure- 
ments of H. c. kalbaensis and H. c. abyssinica. Additional measurements have 
been obtained from a collection of wings, tails and heads recently presented to 
the B.M. (N.H.) by the Harrison Zool. Museum. These were collected by 
Major C. J. Seton-Browne and taken from specimens shot at Khawr Kalba 
in June 1968. These help to substantiate measurements from the otherwise 

Table i 

Measurements (mm) of Halcyon chloris kalbaensis and H. c. abyssinica 




from skull 




to tip 

Max. depth 
of bill 

H. c. kalbaensis Holotype $ 
Paratype ? 









11. 5 

Seton-Browne material 
(see text) {kalbaensis) 




(n= 3 ) 


46-48 (one 5 


(n= 5 ) 

3) 34-37 


11. 0-12.0 
11. 5 

H. c. abyssinica 3 







small series of study skins. The heads of H. c. kalbaensis taken in June 1968 
support the Table in showing that the bill is smaller than that of H. c. 
abyssinica. A certain amount of annual wear and regrowth apparently takes 
place in the mandibles of this species. One head from the Seton-Browne 
material has an exceptionally long bill of 5 3 mm which appears to be over- 
grown at the tip of the upper mandible. Others in the series are worn at the 
tip and cutting edge, but consistently to a length of 47 mm ^ 1 mm. 

Paratypic variation. Stanford's female has the white collar of the hind neck 
mottled with black due to immaturity, as described by Mackworth-Praed & 
Grant (1957). 

Range. Apparently confined to the coastal mangrove swamps at Khawr 
Kalba. The nearest population of H. chloris is the race abyssinica, about 1900 
km across Arabia to the southwest, on the western coast of the Red Sea, and 
H. c. vidali in the opposite direction, about 2000 km to the southeast, across 
the Arabian Sea in the Ratnagiri district, south of Bombay, India (Fig. 1, D). 
Unlike H. c. kalbaensis, H. c. vidali has the black nuchal band generally absent, 
the colour of the wing is a deeper shade of blue and the wing is longer 
(o*s no-ii4mm). The white supraloral spot is small and the superciliary ill- 
defined, or in some specimens absent. 

Material examined. Two ^s and 1 $ from the type locality. These were 
compared with 1 q*, 2 $s and one unsexed skin of abyssinica, and 4 ^s and 3 $s 

229 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

o£ vidali. Skins of 34 of the 49 subspecies were examined. Descriptions of the 
remaining 15 not represented in the B.M. (N.H.) were obtained from the 

Etymology. Named after the village close to the type locality, Kalba. 

Status. Stanford (1973) recorded the Kalba White-collared Kingfisher 
as 'local, and not found at similar mangrove habitats elsewhere on the 
Batinah, or Trucial coast' (United Arab Emirates). The specimens were 
collected in January, March and June. Stanford (1973) observed it in May and 
July and it has been seen during most other months of the year; during one 
day in June 1968 up to 20 individuals were counted at Khawr Kalba by 
Lt. S. Strickland. There seems little doubt that this is a resident population, 
and nesting in June is said to have been seen. 

Voice. Stanford describes the call as a noisy 'Kee-kee-kee', similar to 
that of a young hawk. 

Food. The stomach of the holotype contained small crabs. 

Colour of bare parts. These were noted at the time of death from the 2 ^s. 
Iris : dark orange brown. Feet : pale grey. Inside of mouth : pale grey. Bill : 
upper mandible black; lower mandible black at tip and along cutting edge, 
the remaining basal two-thirds, grey. The bill colour appears not to have been 
properly recorded for H. c. abyssinica, but in H. c. vidali the basal two-thirds 
of the lower mandible is recorded as pinkish or yellowish- white (Baker 1927, 
AH 1970). The grey bill colouring of this isolated Arabian population may 
therefore be significant. The colour of the feet agree with the 'grey' given by 
Mackworth-Praed & Grant (1957) for H. c. abyssinica, but this is in contrast 
to the 'dark brown' described by Archer & Godman (1961). Baker (1927 and 
Ali (1970) have recorded 'slaty black or plumbeous' for the Indian race 
H. c. vidali. The colours may, of course, have changed if they were recorded 
some hours after death by the collectors, but in the study skins before me 
now, a colour difference can still be seen to exist between the bills of H. c. 
kalbaensis and the other subspecies mentioned. 

Field characters. Colour transparencies taken by W. Wyper at the type 
locality of H. c. kalbaensis shows the white superciliary eye strip is quite 
distinctive in the field. 

The species H. chloris is distributed over a wide geographical area and 
about 49 subspecies are at present recognised. It extends from the Red Sea 
coast {abyssinica) at the western extremity of its range, to eastern Arabia 
{kalbaensis)^ southern Asia, the Philippines and the Malay Archipelago, New 
Guinea, northern Australia, and through the Polynesian islands to Samoa, 
which is the extreme eastern limit of its range. Mayr (1931) remarked that 
often the birds at the periphery of the distribution of a species show pro- 
nounced differences in appearance, and this is true of abyssinica and its nearest 
geographical neighbour, the new subspecies kalbaensis. These 2 can be 
distinguished from all the other subspecies by clearly defined differences. 
For example, in some races various shades of buff replace or tint parts of the 
pure white areas of plumage found in kalbaensis and abyssinica. A few other 
forms have, like kalbaensis and abyssinica, the light parts white rather than 
buff but differ from them either by having the white superciliary stripe 
absent, or shorter, (except kalbaensis) or by having extensive areas of white 
on the crown as in pea lei from Samoa. Other races show differences in size 
and overall, plumage coloration. This strongly suggests that the affinities of 

[BuU.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(4)] 230 

kalbaensis lie closer to the west, abyssinica, than to vidali, or other subspecies 
from the eastern part of the H. Moris range. 

Acknowledgements. I am most grateful to General Sir Roland Gibbs, GCB, CBE, DSO, 
MC, for the invitation to join the Joint Services Training Exercise Lapwing in eastern 
Arabia. I am greatly indebted to Major M. D. Gallagher, and the men of Exercise Lapwing, 
without whose help my visit to Kalba would not have been possible. I thank too Mrs. F. E. 
Warr for making the records of the Gulf Birdwatchers available to me. 

References : 

Ali, Salim, 1970. Handbook of the Birds oj India and Pakistan. Vol. 4: 95-98. Oxford University 

Archer, G. & Godman, E. M. 1961. Birds of British Somaliland and the Gulf of Aden. Vol. 3: 

748-750. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh & London. 
Baker, E. C. Stuart. 1927. Fauna of British India (2nd ed.). Vol. 4: 275-277. Taylor & Francis: 

Fry, C. H. 1978. Alcedinidae. In Snow, D. W. (ed.): An Atlas of Speciation in African Non- 
passerine Birds. London: British Museum (Nat. Hist.). 
Mackworth-Praed, C. W. & Grant, C. H. B. 1957. Birds of Eastern and North- Eastern 

Africa (2nd ed.). Vol. 1. Longmans : London. 
Mayr, E. 193 1. Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. XII. Notes on 

Halcyon chloris and some of its subspecies. Am. Mus. Novit. No. 469 : 1-10. 
Meinertzhagen, R. 1954. Birds of Arabia. Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh. 
Peters, J. L. 1945. Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 5: 207. Harvard University Press: 

Cambridge, Mass. 
Stanford, W. 1973. A note on the birds of Oman and the Trucial States 1954-1968. Army 
Bird-Watching Society Periodic Publication. No. 1: 1-25. 

Address: G. S. Cowles, British Museum (Natural History), Tring, Herts, HP23 6AP> 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

A new subspecies of Diglossa (carbonaria) brunneiventris 

by Gary R. Graves 

Received 2j March ipSo 

While investigating the Carbonated Flower-piercer Diglossa carbonaria 
complex, Zimmer (1929) stated "... I am not able, therefore, to separate the 
Colombian and Peruvian birds brunneiventris even subspecifically except on 
the sole ground of geographic isolation, which is not adequate for racial 
distinction, and . . . the size of the Colombian specimens falls well within 
the range of variation of my Peruvian specimens". Subsequent treatments 
of this group (Hellmayr 1935, Vuilleumier 1969) have maintained brun- 
neiventris as a poly topic subspecies with disjunct populations at the north 
ends of the Western and Central Cordilleras in northern Colombia some 
1 500 km north of its extensive Peruvian range. 

During a reappraisal (Graves 1980) of the D. carbonaria superspecies, I 
examined 3 5 8 specimens of brunneiventris including some 40 individuals from 
Colombia. These latter birds appear to be subspecifically distinct. I propose 
to call them 

Diglossa brunneiventris vuilleumieri subsp. nov. 

Type: United States National Museum No. 436798; adult male, testes 
enlarged; collected by M. A. Carriker, Jr. at Paramo Frontino, Department 
of Antioquia, Colombia, elevation 11,880 ft (c. 3620 m), on 21 August 195 1. 

23 1 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

Diagnosis: Differs from Peruvian brunneiventris in being significantly 
smaller (Table 1). Black throat patch seems to average proportionally larger. 

Measurements of type (mm): Wing (chord) 62.0, tail 53.3, tarsus 20.1, 
culmen (from anterior edge of nostril) 7.9. 

Range: Restricted to ceja and timberline shrubland at the northern ends 
of the Western and Central Cordilleras in the Department of Antioquia, 

Adult specimens examined for comparative purposes: D. b. vuilleumieri. 
Colombia: Paramillo, 2 $$ (USNM); 6 &?, 1 $ (AMNH); 2 $$ (MCZ); 
1 $ (FMNH); Paramo Frontino, 4 &?, 1 $ (USNM); Hcda. Zulaiba, 6 <$$, 
1 $ (USNM). D. b. brunneiventris. Peru: Cutervo-Lajas transect, 8 $$, 5 $$ 
(LSUMZ); NE Chota, 8 <$£, 3 ?$ (LSUMZ). Bolivia: Hichuloma, 4 <}& 
1 $ (ANSP); 7 SS (AMNH). 

Etymology: I take pleasure in naming this new form for Francois 
Vuilleumier in recognition of his contributions to Andean evolutionary 

Table i 
Measurements of Diglossa brunneiventris from northern Colombia. 

Mean (mm) ± SE (n) of males 

D.b. vuilleumier i 1 



66.56 ± 0.62 



57.88 ± 0.73 



20.48 ± 0.16 



7.88 ± O.II 


D.b. vuilleumieri 2. 


66.60 i 0.51 

57.93 ± 0.59 

20.12 ± 0.20 

7.58 ± 0.26 

D.b. brunneiventris* 


68.14 ± 0.55 

58.44 ± 0.88 

21.14 i °-i8 

8.08 ± 0.15 

D.b. brunneiventris* 


68.19 ± °- 66 


58.90 i 0.90 


21.39 ± °-i4 

8.29 ± 0.10 

D.b. brunneiventris 


71.33 ± 0.70 

61.25 ± 0.51 

21.17 ± 0.21 

7.70 ± 0.10 


*p 0.02 NS 0.001 0.01 

A = Paramillo-Frontino, Dpto. Antioquia, Colombia, 7 N. 
B = Hcda. Zulaiba, Dpto. Antioquia, Colombia, 7 N. 
C = Cutervo-Lajas transect, Dpto. Cajamarca, Peru, 6° 30' S. 
D = 7 km N, 3 km E Chota, Dpto. Cajamarca, Peru, 6° 30' S. 
E = Hichuloma, Dpto. La Paz, Bolivia, 16 $0' S. 

* Statistical comparison of 1 versus 2 and 3 versus 4 were not significantly different. The 
pooled values {yuilleumieri 1 & 2 vs brunneiventris 3 & 4) were compared using a two-tailed 
Student's "t" test. 

That vuilleumieri is subspecifically distinct is not surprising in view of the 
wide geographical separation between Peruvian and Colombian populations. 
The intervening region is occupied by the entirely black D. humeralis 
aterrima. Although subspecies are not evolutionary units (sensu Mayr 1969), 
geographical isolates often have unique evolutionary histories. D. b. vuilleu- 
mieri has probably been geographically isolated since the last glacial extreme 
(21,000-13,000 years B. P. - see Graves 1980). From the available material 
there appears to be little difference between populations of vuilleumieri on 
either side of the Cauca Valley (Table 1). However, vuilleumieri 'is significantly 
smaller (wing, tarsus and culmen length) than the nearest population of 
nominate brunneiventris in northern Peru. Included for comparison in Table 1 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1 9 So: 100(4)] 232 

is a sample of nominate brunneiventris from the southernmost part of its range 
in northwest Bolivia. A preliminary examination of unpublished data 
suggests that nominate brunneiventris is latitudinally clinal in size, the size 
increasing with distance from the equator. 

Acknowledgements: I am grateful to the curators of the American Museum of Natural 
History (AMNH), United States National Museum (USNM), Field Museum of Natural 
History (FMNH), Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), Louisiana State University 
Museum of Zoology (LSUMZ), and Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP) 
for the loan of specimens. J. P. O'Neill and J. V. Remsen offered helpful comments. 

References : 

Graves, G. R. 1980. Patterns of speciation in the Carbonated Flower-piercer {Diglossa 

carbonarid) complex of the Andes. Unpublished MSc. thesis, Louisiana State University. 
Hellmayr, C. 1935. Catalogue of birds of the Americas and adjacent islands . . . Field Mus. 

Nat. Zool. Ser. 13: 1258. 
Mayr, E. 1969. Principles of Systematic Zoology . McGraw-Hill: New York. 
Vuilleumier, F. 1969. Systematics and evolution in Diglossa (Aves, Coerebidae). Amer. Mus. 

Novit. 2 3 8 1 , 44 pp. 
Zimmer, J. T. 1929. Variation and distribution in two species of Diglossa. Auk 46 : 21-37. 

Address: Gary R. Graves, Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 
LA 70893, USA. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Rediscription of Halcyon bougainvillei excelsa Mayr, 1941 
by John E. du Pont and David M. Niks 

Received I April 19 So 

During the American Museum of Natural History's Whitney South Sea 
Expedition, a single specimen of Halcyon bougainvillei was collected on 26 
July 1927 at 4000 ft, inland from Cape Hunter on the south shore of Guadal- 
canal Island, Solomon Islands. This specimen, which was sexed by R. H. 
Beck, the collector, as a female, was designated by Mayr (1941, Amer. Mus. 
Novit. No. 1 1 5 2 : 3) as the holotype (and only known specimen) of a new 
subspecies, H. b. excelsa. 

Halcyon bougainvillei is sexually dimorphic in colour. Comparison of the 
holotype of excelsa with nominate bougainvillei and with an additional specimen 
from Guadalcanal now in the British Museum indicates that the holotype 
was probably wrongly sexed, and was an immature male. 

This assessment is based upon the following (capitalized colour names are 
from Smithe (1975) Naturalist's Color Guide). The back of the holotype is, 
in the main, very dark Greenish Olive, becoming Blackish Neutral Gray 
anteriorly. The back of the second specimen from Guadalcanal, an adult 
female taken on 6 July 1953, is uniformly bright Olive-Green. In possessing 
an essentially olive back, rather than the (presumably - as in bougainvillei) 
deep blue back of adult males, the holotype does seem to be in female-like 
plumage. The striking difference in brightness between the (very dark) 
back of the holotype and that of the adult female excelsa implies to us, 
however, that the holotype was a young male. That it was immature is 
further suggested by its being very faintly barred on the sides of its breast, 
in this characteristic matching immatures of the closely related H. concreta. 

233 [Bull.B.O.C. rpSo: 100(4)] 

The foregoing implies, at the least, that some of the characters attributed 
to excelsa by Mayr may have been based upon the holotype's having been 
immature or wrongly sexed or both. Nevertheless, excelsa is probably a 
valid race. As Mayr noted, excelsa is paler ventrally than bougainvillei : the 
holotype of excelsa is pale Cinnamon to Cream Color below; the 1953 bird 
is Cream Color to virtually white; bougainvillei are uniformly deep Cinnamon. 
Dorsally, adult females of the 2 populations appear to differ as follows : the 
crown and nape of bougainvillei is uniformly Tawny, that of the specimen of 
excelsa is paler, especially on the nape where the bird is Cinnamon. The back 
of bougainvillei is Olive-Green suffused with Tawny, that of the excelsa is 
nearly pure Olive-Green. To our knowledge no specimens of adult male 
excelsa exist, and comparison of the males of the two races must await 
further collecting on Guadalcanal. 

We are most grateful to Ian C. J. Gailbraith of the British Museum (Natural History) and 
to Wesley E. Lanyon of the American Museum of Natural History for lending us specimens 
in their care. We thank Kenneth C. Parkes for advising and commenting upon the manu- 

Address: John E. du Pont and David M. Niles, Delaware Museum of Natural History, 
Box 3937, Greenville, Delaware 19807, U.S.A. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos and Lesser 
Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes in Zambia 

by P. B. Taylor 

Received 8 April 19S0 

During the period November 1978 to November 1979 I recorded 2 occur- 
rences of Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos and one of Lesser Yellowlegs 
Tringa flavipes at localities in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. These are 
the first reported occurrences of Nearctic vagrants in Zambia. 

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos. The first bird was seen at 06.00 
hours on 12 November 1978 at Kafubu Lake, Ndola (i3°o2'S, 28°35'E). 
The lake is artificially dammed and is the main water supply for the city of 
Ndola. At the end of the dry season the water level falls rapidly and much 
mud is exposed at the point where the Kafubu River enters the lake. This 
area attracts large numbers of southward-moving Palaearctic waders and it 
was here that the Pectoral Sandpiper was seen, feeding alongside Curlew 
Sandpipers Calidris ferruginea in wet mud and shallow water with grass 
tufts. It was later seen with Ruff Phi lomachus pugnax, Wood Sandpiper Tringa 
glareola, Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis, Little Stint Calidris minuta and Ringed 
Plover Charadrius hiaticula. Close observations were made in good light until 
about 08.00 hours and the bird was photographed. 

I am satisfied that this bird was a Pectoral Sandpiper and not a Sharp- 
tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata^ the breast pattern, leg colour, tail and 
call serving to distinguish it from Sharp-tailed. The breast had a strong buff 
wash and heavy dark streaks, contrasting with the pale unmarked chin, and 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 234 

the breast pattern ended abruptly to give white lower breast, belly and under- 
tail coverts. The legs were ochre and were rather short, this feature making 
the bird easy to pick out among the taller-standing Wood and Curlew 
Sandpipers. The rump and centre of the tail were very dark, the outer tail 
feathers were paler brown and the sides of the rump were white. The dark 
central tail feathers were a little longer than the outer ones. The call was a 
low "prrrrt", sometimes repeated. The observed plumage features agree 
with those given in Prater et al. (1977) for first-year birds. The bird was 
found at the same locality later on the same day by C. Carter, who confirms 
identification, but was not present that evening and was not seen again. 
Colour transparencies have been examined by R. J. Dowsett who (in litt.) 
confirms identification. 

The second Pectoral Sandpiper was present at Makoma Sewage Ponds, 
Luanshya (i3°o7'S, 28°22'E) at 11.00 hours on 24 November 1979. It was 
first seen at the edge of a tank feeding in shallow water with grass on a hard 
substrate, and was alongside Wood Sandpiper. Later it rested on dried cut 
grass on the short-grassed track between two tanks. It appeared tired, was 
unafraid and was unwilling to fly, allowing approach to within 12 m. When 
active it fed continuously, picking food from the water's edge. It was closely 
observed for 45 minutes in excellent conditions. The bird was in most 
features almost exactly similar to the 1978 bird, though the less markedly 
pale edges to the upperside feathers and the rather greyish wash on the breast 
suggested that it may have been an adult. I returned to the ponds at 15.00 
hours with R. Casalis de Pury, who confirmed the identification. The bird by 
this time appeared rested and refreshed ; it was much less approachable and 
flew more readily. It was photographed and the colour transparencies show 
plumage features well, including tail and rump in flight and the longer 
dark central tail feathers. R. Casalis de Pury confirms identification. 

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes. At 18.00 hours on 21 January 1979 I 
found a Lesser Yellowlegs at Kanini Sewage Works, Ndola (i2°59'S, 
28°38'E). The settling ponds at Kanini are small, have natural banks and 
normally hold drying sludge, only occasionally being completely flooded. 
Such habitat attracts good numbers of wintering Wood and Green Sand- 
pipers Tringa ochropus, Little Stint and Ruff. When first seen, the Lesser 
Yellowlegs was wading in the only flooded tank alongside Wood Sandpiper, 
Greenshank T. nebularia and Red-billed Teal Anas erythrorhynchos. The bird 
was present continuously throughout the remainder of January and irregu- 
larly until 1 8 February, during which period I was able to observe it frequently 
and to photograph it. 

The bird was slim and graceful, with long bright yellow legs and a slender 
black bill; the well-marled pale superciliary stripes met in a characteristic 
"V" on the forehead; the white rump patch was square and the tail was 
white with narrow dark bars. The call was a soft plaintiff "cu" and when 
alarmed the bird uttered a more strident "klew" or mellow "teu". In late 
January I noticed a gap in the outer primaries of one wing and on 18 
February this gap was no longer visible. 

The bird was seen by at least 10 other observers, including C. Carter (who 
also photographed it), R. Casalis de Pury and R. Stjernstedt. Colour trans- 
parencies have been examined by P. J. Grant and R. J. Dowsett and my 

2 3 5 [Bull.B.O. C. jp 8o : 1 00(4) ] 

description has been seen by A. J. Prater: all confirm identification. A. J. 
Prater tells me that the description suggests that the bird is most likely to 
have been a first-winter individual, but that at this time of year it is never 
easy positively to identify a bird as a first-winter individual. 

Colour transparencies and detailed descriptions of all three Nearctic 
vagrants described here have been lodged at the Zoological Museum, Tring, 
Hertfordshire, England, and colour transparencies of the Lesser Yellowlegs 
and the 1978 Pectoral Sandpiper are on file at the Livingstone Museum, 

There have been few records of Nearctic waders from sub-Saharan Africa. 
Not surprisingly, the most frequently-recorded species is Pectoral Sandpiper, 
which is the most regularly-seen of these species in western Europe. K. D. 
Smith (in Moreau 1972) gives 6 records of Pectoral Sandpiper from localities 
south of the Sahara and there are records from Tree (1972) and Kemp 
(1972), so its occurrence in Zambia is not unexpected. However the only 
records of Lesser Yellowlegs given in Moreau (1972) are those of Keith 
(1968) from Uganda and of Wallace (1969) from Nigeria. G. C. Backhurst 
informs me that the Uganda record is rejected in the forthcoming Birds of 
East Africa (Britton et a/.), so there is only one previous acceptable record 
of this species, which must be an extremely rare vagrant to this part of the 

References : 

Keith, S. 1968. Notes on birds of East Africa, including additions to the avifauna. Amer. 

Mus. Novit.: 2321. 
Kemp, A. C. 1972. A further southern African report of the American Pectoral Sandpiper. 

Bull. Brit. O™. £7.92:23. 
Moreau, R. E. 1972. The Palaearctic- African Bird Migration Systems. Academic Press: London 

and New York. 
Prater, A. J., Marchant, J. H. & Vuorinen, J. 1977. Guide to the Identification and Ageing of 

Holarctic Waders. Tring : British Trust for Ornithology. 
Tree, A. J. 1972. Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos in Botswana. Ostrich 43 : 184. 
Wallace, D. I. M. 1969. Lesser Yellowlegs at Lagos: a species new to Nigeria. JW7. Nigerian 

Orn. Soc. 6 (No. 22): 58. 

Address: P. B. Taylor, P.O. Box 7041 5, Ndola, Zambia. Present address: c/o Data Centre Ltd., 
P.O. Box 30286, Nairobi, Kenya. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

Additions to a discography of bird sound 
from the Neotropical Region 

by Jeffery Boswall and Ron Kettle 

Received 14 April 19 So 

This paper supplements that of Boswall and Freeman (1974). It lists com- 
mercially issued gramophone records and cassettes that include sound 
production by birds (or human mimicry of birds) recorded within the 
Neotropical zoogeographical region which have been published or have 
come to light since 1974. Copies are held at the British Library of Wildlife 
Sounds, 29 Exhibition Road, London S.W.7. Unpublished recordings may 
be held by any of the wildlife sound libraries of the world listed by Boswall 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 236 

& Kettle (1979), but particularly by those in South and North America. 
Easily the biggest collection is held at the Library of Natural Sounds at 
Cornell University in the U.S.A. where, as Gulledge (1979) has recently 
reported: Mexican birds are well represented, as are those of El Salvador; 
smaller amounts of material are available from Costa Rica and Panama; 
among the West Indies birds, those of Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola 
and some adjacent islands are well represented as are, to a lesser degree, 
those of the Bahamas, Trinidad and St. Lucia; extensive material is available 
from Venezuela, Peru and southeastern Brazil as well as some from Colom- 
bia, Surinam and Argentina. Published recordings of Neotropical species 
recorded outside the Neotropics may be traced firstly by consulting biblio- 
graphies of discographies (Boswall 1974, 1979), then the discographies 


Under 8, for "12-inch" read "10-inch". Under 11 for "Songs of Birds of Brazil" read "Sym- 
phony of Brazilian Birds {Songs of Birds of Brazil)". Jan Lindblad asks me to point out that on 
his disc In Green Paradise (Swedish), no. 37 in the earlier discography, the bird identified 
as the Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata is in fact the Great Potoo Nyctibius grandis; and that 
the species given as the Least Pygmy-Owl Glaucedium minutissimwn is the Ferruginous 
Pygmy-Owl G. brasilianum. For "43. Coffey, Ben B. Jr. and Evans, E. R." read "43. Coffey, 
Ben B. Jr. and Edwards, Ernest P." 


44. Greenhall, A. M. & Collias, N. 1954. Sounds of Animals. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc 
FX 6124. Folkways Records and Service Corp., 165 W. 46 St., New York City. [1 species, 

45. Weyer, Edward M. 1955. Music from the Mato Grosso. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc FE 
4446. Folkways Records and Service Corporation, 43 W.6ist St., New York City, U.S.A. 
[Human mimicry of 4 birds and 5 mammals.] 

46. Van de Werken, H. 1959. Vogel Symphonie. One 17cm 45 r.p.m. disc, no. DE99 247, 
published with the Artis- Animal-Encyclopaedia, 254 pp. by Ploegsma for the Royal Zoo- 
logical Society, Plantage Kerklaan 49, Amsterdam, Holland. [Among 33 species recorded 
in Amsterdam zoo are 6 Neotropical species.] 

47. Simms, Eric & Scott, Peter. 1970. Sounds of my Life. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc. BBC 
EEC 59M. BBC Records & Tapes, London. [Includes 3 Neotropical species.] 

48. Simms, E. 1971. Wildlife in Danger. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc RED55M. BBC Records, 
London. [Includes 3 Neotropical birds.] 

49. Graul, A. 1971. Im Zoo. One 17cm 45 r.p.m. disc, no. 712. A. Graul, Kisslingweg 44, 
713 Miihlacker (Wurttemberg), West Germany. [Among 18 species are the Sun Bittern 
Eurypyga helias and a trumpeter Psophia sp.] 

50. Englehard, Virginia. 1972. Voices of Nature 2: Songs of Caprimulgids and Cuckoos. One 
standard cassette. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, 
New York 14850, U.S.A. [12 species, 5 Neotropical.] 

51. Roche, J-C. 1973. Birds of 'Venezuela. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. stereo disc, Gn. L'Oiseau 
Musicien, 58 rue du Dr. Calmette, Sequedin, 59320 Haubourdin, France. [38 birds, 1 
mammal, some insects and amphibians.] 

52. Roche, J-C. 1974. Oiseaux. One 17cm, 45 r.p.m. disc, no. 16 049. L'Oiseau Musicien, 
58 rue du Dr. Calmette, Sequedin, 59320 Haubourdin, France. [9 birds, 4 Neotropical.] 

53. Hardy, John William. 1975. Voices of Neotropical birds. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc, 
ARAi. Obtainable from J. W. and C. K. Hardy, 161 5 N.W. 14th Avenue, Gainesville, 
Florida 32605, U.S.A. [About 60 birds.] 

54. White, Terry. 1977. Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. One standard cassette. Obtainable 
from T. C. White, 6c Rosebery Avenue, Harpenden, Herts., U.K. [31 birds.] 

55. Wolf, Larry L. 1977. Species relationships in the avian genus Aimophila. One 30cm 33.3 
r.p.m. disc, AOU-i, accompanying Ornithological Menographs no. 23 of the same title. 
American Ornithologists' Union. Obtainable from Glen E. Wolfenden, Dept. Biology, 


237 [Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620, U.S.A. [7 Neotropical Aimophila 
birds and 7 background birds.] 

56. Hardy, John William & Coffey, Ben B. 1977. The Wrens. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc, 
ARA 2. Obtainable from J. W. and C. K. Hardy, 161 5 N.W. 14th Avenue, Gainesville, 
Florida 32605, U.S.A. [43 birds, 39 Neotropical.] 

57. Jellis, Rosemary. 1977. Bird sounds and their meaning. One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc no. BBC 
OP 224. British Broadcasting Corporation, 3 5 Marylebone High Street, London WiM 4AA. 
[Many species including 1 Neotropical — Steatornis.] 

58. Hardy, John William. 1978. Voices of some Galapagos birds. One standard cassette, ARA 
4. Obtainable from Holbrook Travel Agency, 3520 N.W. 13th Street, Gainesville, Florida 
32601, U.S.A. [14 birds.] 

59. Gunn, William W. H. & Gulledge, James L. 1978 (although dated 1977). Beautiful 
Bird Songs of the World. Two 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. discs, NAS 1000 A/B and NAS 1000 C/D, 
and 12 pp. of text and illustration. National Audubon Society and Cornell Laboratory 
of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A. [Side 3 
includes 6 Neotropical birds.] 

60. Chapelle, Richard. About 1978. Indiens et animeaux sauvages d' Amerique du Sud. One 
30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc no. UD 30 1293. Richard Chapelle, Boite Postal 1225, 76064 Le 
Havre, Cedex, France. [About 5 birds, 1 amphibian and 1 fish.] 

61. Strange, Ian. 1979. South Atlantic Islands: a portrait of Falkland Island Wild life. One 30 
cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc, SDL 299 mono. Saydisc Records, The Barton, Inglestone Common, 
Badminton, Gloucestershire GL9 iBX, U.K. [27 birds, 5 mammals.] 

62. Bruce, T. 1979. Sounds of Slimbridge. One standard cassette. The Wildfowl Trust, Slim- 
bridge, Gloucestershire, U.K. [14 species.] 

63. Eickhoff, H-J. & Peters, G. About 1979. Tierstimmen aus demKref elder Zoo. One standard 
cassette. Krefelder Zoo, Verdinger Strasse 377, 415 Krefeld, W. Germany. [4 species.] 

64. Frisch, J. D. No date. Tropical birds (Dutch). One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc. Geluid 12 
Omega 333.069 Dutch Record Company, Weesp, Holland. 

A Dutch version of no. 7 in the discography (Boswall & Freeman 1974). 

65. Merrick, William. About 1979. Sounds of the Jungle. One standard cassette. Panajachel 
Guatemala. Obtainable from: Petersen Book Co., P.O. Box 966, Davenport, Iowa 52805, 
U.S.A. [42 species, plus 5 mammals.] 

66. Coffey, Ben B. et al. 1980. Voices of New World nightbirds: owls, nightjars and their allies. 
One 30cm 33.3 r.p.m. disc, ARA-6. J. W. and C. K. Hardy, 161 5 N.W. 14th Ave., Gaines- 
ville, Florida 32611. [75 species (about 50 recorded in Neotropical region). Long-tailed 
Potoo should be deleted from the contents section of the sleeve notes. The recording was 
removed from the record when it was shown to be a misidentification. In the species an- 
notations beginning with reference to cut 54, read 55 ; for cut 65 (sic) read cut 66, etc.; in 
this way the annotations will correspond with the contents notes and the recordings on 
the disc. Otus lawrencii appears as no. 4 in the contents notes but is the second species on 
side 1 of the disc] 

Acknowledgements: Those who helped include Richard Chapelle, Wendy Dickson, 
James Gulledge, John William Hardy, Kees Hazevoet, and Terry White. 

References : 

Boswall, Jeffery. 1974. A bibliography of wildlife discographies. Recorded Sound 54: 305. 

— 1979. Supplementary bibliography of wildlife discographies. Recorded Sound 7 4—75 : 

7 2 - 

— & Freeman, W. P. 1974. A discography of bird sound from the Neotropical 
zoogeographical region. Bull. Brit. Orn. CI. 94(2) : 73-76. 

— & Kettle, Ron. 1979. A revised world list of wildlife sound libraries. Biophon 7(1): 

Gulledge, James L. The Library of Natural Sounds at the Laboratory of Ornithology, 
Cornell University. Recorded Sound '7 4-7 5 : 38-41. 

Address: Jeffery Boswall and Ron Kettle, British Library of Wildlife Sounds, B.I.R.S., 
29 Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AS. 

© British Ornithologists' Club. 

[Bull.B.O.C. 1980: 100(4)] 238 

■ - 



Bird material needed ^ A J 

Merseyside County Museums are providing help to archaeologists in the 
northwest of the U.K. by identifying and analysing bird remains from 
excavations. Consequently we need to extend our osteological research 
collections and would be very grateful to receive British bird carcasses - 
especially passerines - such as those normally discarded after research 

If you know of such material, please contact us at Liverpool (051) 207 0001 
(extension 16) or post the specimens (well sealed in polythene) to the 
address below. We will gladly refund postage. 

8 October 1980 Miss Clem Fisher 

Dept. Vertebrate Zoology, Merseyside County Museums, 
William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN. 

A new record of the Sooty Swiftlet Callocalia vanikorensis 
from New Ireland 

Among a collection of birds collected by Bruce Beehler on New Ireland in 
the Bismarck Archipelago, I find a specimen of Collocalia vanikorensis which 
has not previously been recorded from that locality. 

Although Mayr (1937, Amer. Mm. Novit. No. 915) examined skins from 
both New Britain and New Hanover Islands, he was unable to determine 
their racial affinities because of the unsuitability of his material (specimens 
were either immature or in moult). However, he does give wing measure- 
ments for these birds as varying from 117 to 126 mm. Our specimen from 
the island of New Ireland, which lies between New Britain and New Hanover, 
has a wing measurement of 1 1 1 mm. The bird appears to be in fresh plumage, 
but the pale tips to the secondaries indicate that it may not be fully adult. 
Other measurements are: tail, 49; tail furcation 6 mm; weight 8.9 gm. The 
bird was obtained in a forest 10 km NNW of Cape Narum at an altitude of 
720 m on 16 February 1976. The sex is unrecorded. 

28 October 1980 S. Dillon Ripley 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, U.S.A. 


Scientific American, Readings from. 1980. Introductions by Barry W. Wilson. Pp. 1-276. 
Many drawings and diagrams, some in colour. Freeman : Oxford and San Francisco. Board 
£10.60. Paper £4.90. 

Surprisingly, these 25 papers, reprinted here verbatim, form over half the total number of 
articles about birds published in Scientific American 1 948-1 979. All of them were important 
reviews or studies when first published and nearly all the subject matter has been overtaken 
by more recent research ; nevertheless every one repays careful re-reading, even if written 
25 years ago. The subjects are divided between flight, migration and navigation, evolution, 
behaviour, physiology and song, and birds and people. The paperback review copy is 
excellently produced and the price exceptional. 




Papers, whether by Club Members or by non-members, should be sent to the 
Editor, Dr. J. F. Monk, The Glebe Cottage, Goring, Reading RG8 9AP, and 
are accepted on the understanding that they are offered solely for publication 
in the Bulletin. They should be typed on one side of the paper, with double- 
spacing and a wide margin, and submitted with a duplicate copy on airmail 

Scientific nomenclature and the style and lay-out of papers and of Refer- 
ences should conform with usage in this or recent issues of the Bulletin, unless 
a departure is explained and justified. Photographic illustrations, although 
welcome, can only be accepted if the contributor is willing to pay for their 

An author wishing to introduce a new name or describe a new form should 
append nom.^gen., sp. or subsp. nov., as appropriate, and set out the supporting 
evidence under the headings "Description", "Distribution", "Type", 
"Measurements of Type" and "Material examined", plus any others needed. 

A contributor is entitled to 10 free reprints of the pages of the Bulletin in 
which his contribution, if one page or more in length, appears. Additional 
reprints or reprints of contributions of less than one page may be ordered 
when the manuscript is submitted and will be charged for. 

Available post free on application to Dr. D. W. Snow, Zoological Museum, 
Tring, Herts HP23 9AP, England, as follows: 1973-present (Vols. 93-99) 
issues (4 per year), £2.00 each issue; 1969-72 (Vols. 89-92) issues (6 per 
year), £1.50 each; pre-1969 (generally 9 per year) £1.00 each. Indices £1.00 
for Vol 70 and after, £2 for Vols 50-69, £2.50 for Vol 49 and before. 
Long runs (at least 10 years) are available at reduced prices on enquiry, 
higher prices may be charged otherwise for scarce numbers. 


Only Members of the British Ornithologists' Union are eligible to join the 
Club: applications should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer, Mrs. D. Bradley, 
53 Osterley Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, together with the current year's 
subscription. The remittance and all other payments to the Club should 
always be in sterling unless an addition of £1.00 is made to cover bank 
charges for exchange, etc. Payment of subscription entitles a Member to 
receive all Bulletins for the year. Changes of address and revised bankers' 
orders or covenants (and any other correspondence concerning Membership) 
should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer as promptly as possible. 

The Bulletin may be purchased by non-members on payment of an annual 
subscription of £9 • 00 (postage and index free). Send all orders and remit- 
tances in sterling, unless an addition of £1.00 is made to cover bank charges, 
to the Hon. Treasurer. Single issues may be obtained as back numbers (see 

Correspondence about Club meetings and other matters not mentioned 
above should go to the Hon. Secretary, R. E. F. Peal, 2 Chestnut Lane, 
Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3AR. 

Published by the BRITISH ORNITHOLOGISTS' CLUB and printed by 

The Caxton and Holmesdale Press, 104 London Road Sevenoaks Kent. . 

mimsm Bfi HP 





bhsi 9BS1